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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe



Tonight we went to the Mass at St. William the Confessor in Greenville, TX for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady is the Patron for all of North America, not just Mexico. I have to remind myself of that every now and then. She is Mother to us all, even us transplanted Irish Catholics living in Texas and trying to get by speaking bad Spanglish to those who do not speak English.

Here is the copy of the Tilma that was placed in the church. I am not sure why there is a scratch on the face of Our Lady.

These are some of the dancers representing those Aztecs who converted to the Faith after the Spanish overthrew the Aztecs. Dr. Warren Carroll has a great book on that subject - Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness.

The dancers' movements tell a story of the people and their love for God. It is an elaborate dance accompanied by drums which keep the beat - quite a fast tempo.

This is perhaps the only kind of liturgical dancing I could see as being appropriate. Note in the picture below the dancers are genuflecting in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle:

The emphasis was on HIM, not the dancers. They only led the procession into and out of the church - no dancing during any other time of the Mass.

This evening reminded me of just how truly catholic our Catholic Church is, especially when you consider most of the people in the church tonight come from a different culture than mine. Yet they are also part of the church, and their traditions and patron saints are ones which can be an inspiration to me and my family. I also started thinking how Our Lady of Guadalupe came to St. Juan Diego in order to bring the Mexican people to Our Lord, and it made me think how it wasn't that many years ago that St. Patrick was in Ireland, bringing the Faith to my ancestors. At the same time, Europe was being converted, too, so that my wife's ancestors(the French, Italian, Hungarian and whoever else) were also learning the good news about Christ our Savior. Our ancestors were just like the Aztecs at one time, and needed to be brought to the Faith and shown how to know, love, and serve God. It is humbling to consider our fallen nature, and how far we can trangress, and that we all need the Sacraments(especially confession) to bring ourselves ever closer to God.

Sorry, no tacky video clip tonight. In honor of Our Lady, I will skip it tonight.



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Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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