Everybody's Got One
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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Marian interventions  

On this feast of the virgin of Guadaloupe (which in my parish suppresses even Gaudete Sunday of Advent), the expected visual of rose-colored vestments, worn on two Sundays of the church year, is replaced by the red, white, and green of the Mexican flag repeated throughout the sanctuary. I am reminded that the medieval Irish spoke of three types of martyrdom: red martyrdom, of shed blood; white martyrdom, of purity and cloistered monks; and green martyrdom, of exile, the way of the peregrinatus. Mexicans, like the Irish, have had a greater impact on the world in the lands of their wanderings than at home; a hard, but blessed, ministry.

I am also reminded that, with black added, these are the colors of most Arab national flags. And that Islam has recently given to the world the idea and the horrendous reality of the shahid, the “martyr” who does not so much die for God as kill for God, both himself and others; a witness of utter blackness and destruction. I cannot believe that this could possibly be the will of any of the faces of the one true God, no matter how parsed or interpreted.

Three years ago, in the Advent season after 9/11, the feast of the Immaculate Conception fell on Saturday of the first week, so that Marian readings replaced the usual Advent text from Isaiah about The day of great slaughter, when the towers fall. This was a great kindness given to us by our Mother, the patroness of the Americas. I wonder what the variations in this year's cycle portend, where the week of the rose candle of the Advent wreath begins with the image of roses spilling from Juan Diego's miraculous tilma.

Watch and pray.

posted by Kelly | 2:25 PM link