Today, St Francis purposefully led me to Our Lady of Guadalupe. She had come to me twice before, this year, but I did not see, and chose to graze elsewhere. Today, I am at Her feet, because St Francis told me to rest the eyes of my heart on the Rose of Guadalupe. In these past hours, through the birdcalls and lilting family melodies, I have come to know more about the Rose of Guadalupe today than I ever did before. And yet, I sense I have not come even within whispering distance of Her true essence; there’s so much more beyond the pink veil.
Like before, I stand uncertain, unsure of what to do.
I think about Her.
She appeared on a hill, heralded not by trumpets, nor by choirs, but by birdsong in the early rose of dawn. To make Her presence felt, She perfumed the air of Tepeyac with the welcome chorus of feathered joys, to be heard only by a saintly soul seeking heaven in his every day.
She chose to appear to a simple, humble man who loved God more than anything else. Who walked solitary paths to attend Mass. One who loved family and knew with a keenness, the grief of loss, worrying and aching for loved ones.
When Juan Diego’s human love for his ailing uncle surpassed his love for his heavenly Mother, no sullen anger from Her. No strident demand that he forget his pain. Instead, She reached into his human sorrow, placed hope there, and wiped his tears away. She kept Her promise, took away the illness of his uncle who had given up and awaited the angel of death, giving him sight of purpose of days ahead, saying, I am She who crushes serpents.
In a life surrounded by serpentine values and hidden snares, Her words a promise for those wearied by battles, then and now. We are not alone,
We are not forsaken,
We are not forgotten.
She worked the Miracle of Pink Roses, to thaw the frost of doubt and weariness in pilgrim hearts. The perfume of that hope reaches us even today, spurring us on to hills and valleys we must traverse, although we fear, because of uncertainty in our weakened hearts. Over, and over, She tells us, I am the Mother of the Impossible. Fear not, fear not, fear not.
Her mantle over us when we storm heaven with prayers, sacrifices, vigils, and yet see the crimson tide threating to overwhelm. She is there when despair stands too close as we contemplate defenseless children abandoned by reluctant parents, for every child saved, too many more lost. Where is the hope, where is the hope? Our cry presses Her heart.
Mother of Guadalupe, Defender of the Unborn. She had shone the Light of Her Son into Aztec hearts that had hitherto only known shadows, converting them from the bloodlust that had kept them chained to the worship of darkness and blinded them to the jewel-glory of children. Once more, hope echoes down the tunnels of time. Their cries I have heard. Save the Unborn, I will, for I am their Mother. Hope springs anew.
She is here, She is here. Tell the Children, tell their Defenders.
Mother for all, young and old, strong and weak, lost and found. She meets us on rutted trails through the gathering shadows, a Hand reached out when the thorns of life snake across our everyday journeys. No promise broken, no hope in ashes lie. Clothed in the majesty of the sun, She comes again, as before.
She sees us hurrying past.
She sends messengers of nature to bid us pause.
And She says to us now, as She did then, “My dear little one, where are you going?”