Follow by Email

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Culture of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Today we is the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which for me is one of the most important feast days of the Virgin  Mary.  It is important to me because it reminds me of the incarnational nature of Christianity.

When the Son of God became man be took on permanently, the stuff of this earth, and redeemed it.  And that stuff was not only physical flesh but the culture of man.  Everywhere that Christianity has gone it has adopted or adapted everything good from the culture that was there before and used those things to point to God.

When Christianity arrived in the Americas the cultural shift, the adoption of culture was even more radical.  Here a culture was born of the fusion of various Indian peoples with imported African slaves, pure Castilian Spaniards and Moreno Spaniards.  It was a culture that was European, Indian, African and Arabic. It was mestizo culture.
The Virgin of Guadalupe became the common denominator of that culture and the protector of those who were poor in the "New World".  

Spain had conquered Latin America, introduced slavery, then gradually did away with that slavery.  But she did not do away with the poverty The poverty lingered even after the revolutions that drove the Spanish and other conquers out of the New World.  But the mesitzo culture of Catholicism in the Americas provided the sense of dignity of all people, and through that, a hope for the future. When people think they will improve the lives of people by rejecting and overturning the religious and the culture of religion they make a fundamental mistake.  Without dignity and hope no system can progress or improve the basic lot of human beings.  Material progress may be stalled by the lack of the spiritual well being of people, but even if it progresses, people are left unable to deal with the fundamental problems of sin and death. And even if a social order, a state, be just, another thing is needed --for people to be loved.  It is religion that gives us the ability to solace ourselves from sin and death, and to share love with each other.  And in Mestizo Catholicism I see that all of the culture of Europe, Africa, the Americas, and now Asia also have been fused towards that end.

No comments:

Post a Comment