Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DONDE ESTA LA IGLESIA? Fr. Joe's Rant of the Season

 Guadalupe Apron: Como se dice "hipster"?
Tomorrow is the feast of OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE which is one of the top MOST ATTENDED MASSES BY NON-PRACTICING CATHOLICS in the USA. Regardless, the Latino Love Fest is all over the Catholic blogosphere especially with this guy's annual Guadalupe gush.

Hey, folks, December 8th was just right here. Anyone notice? Immaculate Conception? La Virgen? No?

No hay de que...the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is used each year by me at the first session of the RCIA. The way the legend was explained to me, and what I perceive to be accurate and valid, was that the original image that was presented to Juan Diego is not the image that is on display in Mexico City.

Baroque God paints Mary in the Spanish Colonial Style.
Rather the image that we see now in photographs, art, on pick-up truck window decals and Latin Kings tattoos includes artistic embellishments over the original. Over time, things were added to the image, or so the thought goes. The additions explain more of what the original image is.

I use this as an example of our Faith. The Church is founded on the belief that Christ rose from the dead. Over years, we have embellished that truth to explain and teach more about this powerful reality that we can rise from the dead.

The doctrines, the liturgies, the sacraments, the morality, the prayers, the art and everything Catholic are like the painter's stroke to compliment and preserve the radical belief of eternal life.

There is some talk that the painting on the image was done with a single stroke. Or it seems such. This miraculous endeavor further makes my point about the Church. The veneer of our Faith on the basis of the Resurrection of Jesus is also a single stroke. The four marks of the Church are that stroke:
One-unbroken theme throughout the ages
Holy-raises our thoughts and minds to the otherworldly and inspirational
Catholic-speaks to the universe with images that are easily understood
Apostolic-follows a consistent style begun by a master

Regardless of if you believe that God himself painted the image borrowing from the style of Spanish artists during the time of the Conquistadors or you may believe it all to be hooey, the Virgin of Guadalupe image is worth a look.
One priest at the Feast of Guadalupe just figured he'd sit back, relax and wear the Advent stole.
And maybe even further inspiration that will bring you back more than one time a year.

/snark off/