Friday, December 12, 2008
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
I've been twice to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City; once in 1994 on the third day of our semester and the day we departed to Puebla, where we would be living for the next few months. So it was that, although I was really not practicing our faith, I prayed to Our Lady and know without a doubt that she kept her mantle over me throughout that semester and beyond.
Two years later I returned to Mexico to visit friends who had attended my college, and we made it a point to, once again, visit the Basilica.
It's an amazing place, always filled with crowds or even just individuals making a pilgrimage. There were people who could not walk who were crawling in any way they could in order to enter the Basilica. There were people who COULD walk, but chose to enter the Basilica on their knees.
For myself, when I first entered, I immediately sensed that I was in a holy place, and felt that Our Lady's eyes were on me. She knew I was there, and that sense has never left me. Even as I went through my years of rebellion, she did not take her eyes off of me, desiring that I come back to her Son.
And indeed, she brought me home and continues to remind me that she is, indeed, my Mother, too.
Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe....ruega por nosotros!
* The above drawing is one I felt compelled to draw, in pencil and ink, a day or so after I arrived in Puebla. I felt so close to Our Lady that I needed to create my own image of her. A few days later I found a protestant who, ironically, tried to teach me the Hail Mary in Spanish. Some of it is wrong, although if prayed, it would be easily understood to be the Hail Mary. (Differences in sentence structure, not meaning).
Um....I still can't pray the Hail Mary correctly in Spanish. * blush *