Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Clothed With The Sun

We know that Mary has been assumed body and soul into heaven. She sent us a picture!

Indeed, it's more than a picture. We are so familiar with reproductions and even color photographs of this "picture" that we are in danger of growing accustomed to it. But the original is unique.

We all know that the "tilma" has been the object of many scientific studies. They can't explain it. They know it's not a painting. Indeed there is no known human technique for making an image like this. Studies have concluded that the colors and patterns of the image are on the tilma in the way that color and design are on the wings of a moth.

In other words, they are like something natural. There is no sign of human artifice. At the same time, no one can explain how the image actually "interacts" with the cloth. To put it simply: it's not like anything we know.

And then there are the eyes....

I like the story of a Japanese optic specialist who came to Mexico to study the eyes of the image with the latest technology. According to the story, he was making his examinations through his scope when, suddenly, he fainted to the ground. When he regained consciousness, people wanted to know what happened, and he said:

"She was looking at me!"

As a pilgrim (three times) to this amazing place, my response is, "Of course she was looking at you."

During this beautiful period between the feast of the Assumption and the feast of the Queenship of Mary (August 22), I cannot help but recall the precious time that I have spent with her.

The Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Lord of heaven and earth, Our Merciful Mother...she lives there. People who seek her, with attention and faith and patience, will find her, and will be changed by her personal presence.

Moreover, quite of few distracted or merely curious people will be surprised by a tap on the shoulder, and an encounter with a person who knows them, and looks at them with a profound tenderness. It makes them forget any other reasons they had had for coming. And they find themselves being loved, and healed, and gently corrected and set upon the right path. So many people speak of these experiences that it must be more than a collective delusion.

"Here, I will give all of my love...." This is the promise she made to Juan Diego.

Mary lives with her whole humanity, body and soul, in the New Creation. And in some mysterious way, her glory radiates from her resurrected life, and touches this earthly place and this inexplicable image, so that she might be "there" for us, to meet us, and to become a personal presence in our lives.


P.S. - I neglected to mention the extensive temperature studies that have been done on the cloth. Regardless of the temperature outside, the cloth and its image have always maintained the same temperature. It always measures 98.6 degrees. Fahrenheit. Yup!

People, this is for real!