Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pietà - from Violence back to Nurturing Compassion

Of all things on the great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this heart-wrenching image of Adam and Eve mourning the death of their son Abel, the just, came crowding into my mind. I think I know why. 

This pain is closer to most of us than is the tenderness of the Guadalupana toward Juan Diego and the peoples of the Americas held bound by the circle of violence set in motion in the course of the Conquista. Had she not come and shown herself a sister and a mother of boundless compassion, the death's of countless Abels would have left so many Adams and Eves in their tears and a whole hemisphere wrapped in a mourning cloak. Not chance but Divine Providence in the intervention in time of the Mother of God changed mourning into dancing and for over half a millennium without flagging.

Guadalupe continues today to radiate hope and promise for a fallen world. The immediacy of whatever our pain may be deprives us of experiencing the tenderness of the beautiful young woman on the hill of Tepeyac. For not being touched by her in our anguish or simple torment, we fail to obey her simple but insistent plea, we miss the tilma, the roses and love's lightning conquest of a world for Her Son.

This arid pietà depicting our first parents with their dead son, depicting the devastating effects of a fratricide from the dawn of creation and confirming God's judgment on the worthlessness of Cain's feigned sacrifice, looms big and leaves me powerless. In the extreme, it illustrates my loss of words before people's pain at gross injustice suffered here and now.

I guess all I can do, or rather the best which I can do, is humbly beg the lovely Morena to come again and touch hearts with a gentle word and a bouquet of roses.

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