Yesterday Daniel and I were with friends Pete and Beth Gross, Zach and Vonnie Netzly and Abigayle English, at the Basilica of Guadalupe, in northern Mexico City. There is simply no better place to visually illustrate what Mexican Catholicism is, and what belief systems it emcompasses. The syncretistic nature of the RC faith here becomes quite clear. We were in front of this building (below), the second of three “basilicas” or chapels that were built in honor of the Virgin of Guadulupe, near the hill where, legend has it, the virgin appeared to Juan Diego way back in December, 1531.
Suddenly, shortly after noon, nearly every bell that could be rung was ringing. Pete commented that they must have been late ringing them…but when the kept ringing and ringing, other explanations were sought! Turns out they indicated what the whole world now knows, that a new Pope was named, the first Pope from the Western hemisphere, and only the second non-European Pope. Finally, to the relief of our eardrums, the bells stopped ringing!
Next on this blog, a series of posts that will talk about Mexico’s unique strain of Catholicism…that’s gonna be fun, and I’m sure not without surprises.
Unfortunately, Daniel couldn’t find any Diet Cherry Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper at the Basilica to bring back to Tiffany and Tina. One of the few places in Mexico that we’ve seen these sodas. Sorry girls!
Quote of the Day: Someone has described life as like having a thick curtain hung across one’s path, a curtain that recedes before us as we advance, but only step by step. None of us can tell what is beyond that curtain; none of us can tell what events a single day or hour may bring into our lives. Sometimes the receding curtain reveals events much as we had expected them; often it reveals events most unexpected and frequently most undesired. Such events, unfolding in ways contrary to our desires and expectations, frequently fill our hearts with anxiety, frustrations, heartache, and grief.
Bridges, Jerry Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts with Bonus Content (pp. 15-16).