Many of us are now feeling the approach of the holiday season. No matter what you do (or don’t) celebrate and who you do or don’t celebrate it with, this is a time of year that can be full of joy and delight or a time of year that feels lonely, isolating, and depressing. Some of us can even feel all of these things at the same time! A litany or traditional spoken prayer is one way to begin to soothe the rough and raw places. And what better blessing for this time of year than a Litany for Guadalupe?
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico City in 1531 to an indigenous man known to Spanish and English speakers as Juan Diego but known in his own tribal tongue as Cuauhtlatoatzin – which translates to something like “Talking Eagle”. Guadalupe is variously understood as the New World Blessed Virgin Mary, as a Catholic overlay of Tonantzin, the Nuahatl Goddess of life, fertility, and mothers, and as the patron Saint of Mexico. I understand her to be all of this and more. Having lived almost all of my life in “Guadalupe country” here is what I can tell you about Her:
Litany for Guadalupe
Wherever there is a need for nurturing, mothering, calming, nourishment – there She is.
Wherever there is a need for healing, soothing, anointing and blessing – there She is.
Wherever new mothers, new fathers, and children of all ages need care and support – there She is.
Wherever there is loss, sadness, gaping holes full of the howling winds of grief and sorrow – there She is.
Wherever there is joy, laughter, good food, families gathering, friends speaking, old ones remembering – there She is.
Wherever there is rich black dirt, red roses, chile, cinnamon, chocolate, bread – there She is.
Wherever Death has come, unbidden, unasked for, unexpected, unwanted – there She is.
Wherever it is the very simple things that are most needed: clean water, clean air, clean food – there She is.
Wherever creatures, any creatures, are harmed and then helped – there She is.
Wherever there is trying, working, struggling, failing, getting back up again, victory – there She is.
Wherever there is heartfelt prayer in voice, body, gesture, art making of all kinds – there She is.
Wherever there is storytelling, remembering, recollecting what matters most – there She is.
Wherever there is art, creativity of all kinds, carrying beauty from soul to world – there She is.
Wherever there is seeking for fairness, justice, and truth – there She is.
Wherever there are those who feel unseen, unheard, unwanted, disregarded – there She is.
Wherever there is quiet, silence, stillness – there She is.
Wherever there are blessings waiting in broken places – there She is.
Wherever there is a scarred and sacred heart, pierced and bleeding – there She is.
Wherever we are told She is not supposed to be/go, whomever we are taught are not as deserving or worthy of Her most blessed presence – She is especially in those places and with those people, (Our Lady does not much care for “rules”.)
Wherever there is love, and there is love everywhere, there She is.
So what might you say to Nuestra Señora – Our Lady? Whatever is upon your heart and on your tongue. She is first and foremost Mother to the World and all creatures, you and I included, who dwell within it. Bring it all to the table – there is space here.
Blessings of the season to you and yours~