Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I am generally not partial to images of the Blessed Mother without her carrying the Christ Child. The absence of Her Son has long struck me as a potential micro-step toward a sort of Catholic goddess-worship -- Mariolatry, if you will -- which I realize may sound silly, so I don't make much of those who believe otherwise.
But I make one exception, and that's the image used to commemorate today's Feast. Don't ask me why. You can read all about it at sancta.org, so I don't have to write about it.
But not before I mention two things.
Contrary to what some dime-store theologian disguised as a pastoral associate is telling your children in Catholic school right about now, the native peoples' customs were not suppressed by their Catholic conquerors. In fact, the Aztecs were all too happy to have been relieved of being victims of human sacrifices where their hearts were cut out while they were still alive, so much so as to have participated in what may have been the largest single mass conversion in Christendom.
Furthermore, and on a lighter note, when Juan Diego opened his cloak for the bishop, and the venerable image appeared, the roses hidden in the cloak came falling out. But that wasn't the end of the miracle. The bishop recognized the roses as being of a variety only found in his native Spanish province of Castile. This was in the days before overnight delivery, by the way.
Now you know the rest of the story.