By Carol Younger
“How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news, who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.””~Isaiah 52:7
Mary is uppermost in my heart this Christmas. Her manger scene seems to be missing a figure – me! Madonna and Child so appealing; I want to be in your manger scene under the Christmas Tree! Your tender attention to the Infant gives me hope that you will be tender towards me, your spiritual child. Yes, I want to be cradled by you, led by you to the manger of his birth, to worship Him who comes to save us from our sin.
Juan Diego and Our Lady
She so graciously speaks to Juan Diego in the Guadalupe visions revealing her spiritual motherhood. And she sees us kneeling in awe at heaven’s gift of a mother for us! Centuries after the original December 12, 1531, vision, a photographer discovers in photographing her eyes on the Tilma that she does SEE us kneeling around her image, gathered in faith. Her Tilma tells us she sees us in compassion. She said in her initial greeting on December 9:
“Juanito, Juan Dieguito. Know for certain, dearest of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God, through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things, who is Master of Heaven and Earth. I ardently desire a temple to be built here for me where I will show and offer all my love, my compassion, my help, and my protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who live united in this land and of all mankind. Of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows, and will remedy and alleviate their sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes….”
Mary, My Mother
Years ago, my family stopped communicating with our children and us. I clung to Mary of Guadalupe. Her words in the last apparition were imprinted into my spirituality. As Juan Dieguito explained he needed to get a priest for his uncle, she said:
“Listen and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little son. Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety, or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?…”
Mary became my Mother, my Advocate, my Virgin of Compassion. Do not let the difficulties of the present age, the idiocy of public discourse, or the fear of tomorrow dismay you. Let her hear your weeping, sorrow, and sufferings. She who rushed down the mountain to a 47-year-old convert to Christianity in the New World on a mission of charity for his uncle, will she not rush to your aid?! On this Christmas, let us turn to the Mother of His Mystical Body and ask for her intercession.
Sweet, compassionate Mother of Guadalupe, spread your mantle of the stars over us and help us in our hour of need. Be our guide toward the salvation of your Son, Jesus. Protect us in your shadow from all temptation to sin, and be our fountain of life, as you spoke to St. Juan Diego.
Call to Action
Make a pilgrimage to a chapel or church where the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is venerated. Spend some time in prayerful conversation with the Mother of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
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