Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Is There Anything Else You Need?": A Conversation Between St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe is my favorite Marian apparition. I have always been drawn to her and the story of her appearances to St. Juan Diego.  I love so many things about her:
  • the fact that she is pregnant, as indicated by the Aztec maternity belt that she is wearing
  • the extravagance and beauty of the sign she gave to Bishop Zumarraga : Castilian roses, miraculously picked in full bloom on the hills of Tepayac, Mexico in the middle of December
  • the rich intricacy of her image mysteriously placed on Juan Diego's tilma, which should have long since disintegrated, but remains intact as a sign of contradiction to the wise and learned of the world and an image of hope and joy to the childlike
  • the staggering number of Aztec conversions to Catholicism which occurred in Mexico in the years following her apparition and the continuing steadfastness faith of the Mexican people
Most of all I love the words which she spoke to Juan Diego: words of comfort, solace and hope - words which she speaks to us and to all her children today:

As the Church once again celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I find myself pondering her pointed question to Juan Diego: "Is there anything else you need? Over and over that phrase turns in my mind -- is there anything else I need?  Juan Diego could answer that question and place his complete trust in the Mother of God who was standing directly in front of him. I have not been given such a privilege. I am, however, asked to have the same trust and faith that he did.

I find myself asking her to beg her Son, our Lord Jesus to give me the grace of complete trust in her words. I long to be able to live freely as a child of God, knowing that my heavenly Mother is with me, as she was over 500 years ago with Juan Diego and the embittered, enslaved Aztec people.

How do we come to the full trust and belief that if the Mother of God is with us, then there is nothing else we need? The answer lies in our Lady's own words: "Listen and let it penetrate your heart..." To grow in complete trust and surrender to the will of the Lord, we must listen carefully - to the Word of God in the Scriptures, to the teachings of the Church and to the still, small voice of the Lord that speaks to each and every one of us in the depths of our hearts. We need to soak in those words and let them penetrate every aspect of our lives. The we too, like Juan Diego, will be able to go forth in trust, in peace, and in power to bring the Good News to the hurting world around us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Read related posts here:
Recourse to Thee
The Angelus: Domestic Church Style
31 Ways to Grow In Devotion To Mary
7 Lessons From the Visitation

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