See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sharing the lot of the saints in light.



Devotion to the saints.

Today is the feast of John Vianney.  "Vianney!"  The devil used to taunt him, derogatorily commanding his name at him - like a gestapo agent.  Errraough!  The Saint quietly went about his duties, nonplussed.  I love St. John - others find him intimidating - too rigorous - forbidding dances and drinking and bawdy jokes - a prude, a Jansenist, and so on.  Yet when you read his sermons and consider his generous sacrifices, you see nothing but humility, sweetness, and charity.  Charity makes what seems harsh lovely and agreeable - even having one's bed set afire. 

Sharing the lot of the saints in light is the Christian's delight in this life and his beatitude in the next.  If something from their earthly life bothers you or seems incomprehensible to our ears - ignore it.  Look to what is attractive in their example - even if it is only the way an artist has depicted them - that is how the Holy Spirit is attracting you... grasping you. 

For instance, I was reading the life of St. Martin De Porres once, and in the narrative on his penances - which make no sense to contemporary standards - it was related how before dawn he would go to the lowest level beneath the bell tower of the church, where a slave would scourge his naked body bloody.  Way too S&M for my taste - no wonder some Dominicans got into ... never mind.  Anyway, I put the book down, never to take it back up to read again.  TMI.  I do not need to know that crap.  Instead, I prefer to share the lot of St. Martin in light; the light which emanates from his charity, his kindness, his contemplation amidst the duties of his state in life - the ordinary.  Thus you get an idea of what I mean about ignoring those cultural practices I don't understand - and what we are not called to imitate.

So.  If the saints condemned this or that which has become commonplace in our era - what is one to do?  Give up the faith?  No.  First, check your scruples with your confessor or spiritual director - especially if you think of scourging the hell out of yourself.  Then check the earlier, cultural discipline against what the Church recommends today - you can't be holier than the Church.  It's like the Communion in the hand deal.  Is that the norm?  Then you aren't sinning if you do likewise.

Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.

We need to have more trust in God, thanking him for having made us worthy to share the lot of the saints in light - he gives us the strength we need to deal with the present moment, to endure whatever may come - each day.  He it is, who in the saints and in ourselves, accomplishes even more than we could ever ask or hope for.  He chose us - calls us (vocare - vocation) in our own peculiar way - and no it is not 'individualism' - since he chose us in Christ before the world began to be holy and blameless in his sight.  This choosing makes us his handiwork - not ours.  He chose us - to be conformed to the image of his Son, not to the image of the saints - each saint is but a facet of of that image, just as we are destined to be.

So in that light, if when our heart is attracted to the secret encounter between the Child Jesus and St. Anthony - we are attracted to experience such an encounter.  Perhaps in the lectio of our morning prayer - sharing the lot of the saints in light...  We know the little Jesus emerged in light while Anthony ruminated the Scriptures... the Word became flesh in that moment of ecstasy.  We can share in that - our hearts burning within us.

Similarly, the vision of St. Paschal of the Blessed Sacrament amidst his scullery duties reveals to the simple how our daily duties can be lifted up as an offering, an active participation in the silent, loving action of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist... sharing the lot of the saints in light.

So the harshness, the all too wonderful accomplishments of this saint or that, and other discouraging feats posited from their lives, ignore it if it causes you to stumble; leave aside every encumbrance it poses for you - and look to the light the saints attract us with.  When we seek what is holy and good, full of light and truth, consoling in its mystery, we encounter the love of God - we share the lot of the saints in that light.  We can't appropriate their light for ourselves, we share in it.  The example of the saints serves to attract us to seek first his kingdom, his way of holiness, and then everything else falls into place.

Don't try to measure up, measure down.  Humility is more pleasing to God than accomplishing great feats of penance, dressing like a frump, condemning every thing and every one who doesn't fit the mold of a plaster saint.  God chose us - the weak of the world, those who count for nothing - to share the lot of the saints in light... to praise his glory.

Thoughts on Truth, Love, and Happiness.



From the author of Letters to Christopher.

I hesitate to embarrass the man by linking to another of his posts - he writes eloquently and beautifully on the subject of same sex attraction and fidelity to Catholic teaching on sexuality.  I try to write on the same subject, but I'm not able to do so with nearly as much sensitivity and charity.  Indeed, I've read comments on other sites where my name comes up and people have referred to Abbey Roads as "that horror of a blog".  LOL!  It reminded me of the line from As Good As It Gets when Simon referred to Melvin as an "absolute horror of a man".  I actually deserve the title because I'm such a dork - my humor is inappropriate and tacky, my comments can be sarcastic and mean, and I'm not the smartest writer online.  I'm too aggressive and lack sensitivity towards others who disagree or misunderstand what I'm trying to say.  Ah - worst of all - I make everything all about me.  Please accept my apologies - especially those of you whom I offended this past week or so.

That said, without the author's permission, I reprint here a few key points from his essay, Truth, Love, and Happiness - please read the entire post after the following excerpt:
The question that I always come back to when it is concerning love is this: what does it mean, to truly love another? Is love whatever we say it is? It seems that the definition of love we have now has essentially become exactly that. I say what love is, and no matter what that looks like, then it is love, because I define it as such. C. S. Lewis wrote about St. Augustine’s view of love and virtue this way, in Abolition of Man: “St. Augustine defines virtue as ordo amoris, the ordinate condition of the affections in which every object is accorded that kind and degree of love which is appropriate to it.” The classic definition of love in Christian philosophy through the ages has been, “to love is to will the good of the other,” which is akin with Christ’s definition, loving others as we would love ourselves. The caveat, in that, of course, is that we don’t always love ourselves in the ways in which we would if we could see ourselves through the eyes of God.

The call to love, I’ve become convinced, must be determined not by our particular concepts of love, or the way others may want us to show love to them, because in some cases, to acquiesce to the way some want to be loved is to actually not love them at all. I will tell you this: I recently went to a priest (I’m Catholic) and out of compassion, he told me to find a man and settle down with him, so that I can be happy. That was not love, though the priest believed he was loving me. His compassion towards me, and my loneliness, was not love, in the truest sense, since I know that my subjective concept of what I think might bring me earthly happiness is not the way that I will be happy, ultimately. Some aspects of my life which make me unhappy could be mitigated: I could have a companion to come home to, other than my dog; I could have a sexually active life and enjoy that aspect of the human existence; I could have someone to travel with and plan my life, but ultimately, those forms of happiness are not worth the cost of disobeying God.

God says no to us, and to me, in particular, because he loves me. The younger generation needs to understand that God’s commandments lead us to the blessed life, and one of the hallmarks of showing our love for God, as Jesus told us, is to “keep his commandments.” If you are a Christian with LGBTQ friends, and you urge them on in believing that God is “Side A,” or ever has been “Side A” concerning this subject, you’re not doing them any favors. You’re urging them on in believing a lie about themselves, about God, and about what will make them happy. - finish reading at Love, Truth, and Happiness
What this author says is pretty much all that I've ever wanted to say on my blog - but this guy says it more eloquently and honestly than I am capable of doing.  I highly recommend you read his blog and follow it:  It is Letters to Christopher - I really think the Holy Spirit is the author.

Thanks for reading.

Have to run  ...

I'm online, and I can hear the Olympics on TV in the other room...

Family of Acrobats - Picasso  1905


The acrobats - is that what you call them?  Oh - gymnasts, I think.  Anyway - evidently some of the American girl gymnasts are being interviewed, but their voices are so little, and they are talking so fast, they sound like chipmunks to me.  Now some Russian circus trainers are speaking, I think.  I'm not into the Olympics the way I used to be. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

Anti-Nuke Nun Arrested - armed and dangerous.

Look at those lifeless eyes!
The mean expression!
The arrogant smirk!
The filthy collar on her shirt!


Bloody shame.

The 82 year old religious sister - Sr. Meg, AKA Megan Rice, broke into a heavily guarded nuclear facility in Tennessee with two young male accomplices and painted slogans and threw what they said was human blood on the wall of the facility before they were arrested shortly before 4.30am last Saturday.  Full story here.

This is wrong on so many levels.  The woman is 82.  She was dressed in shorts and a filthy T-top.  She was out during the Grande Silence -  leaving the enclosure without her habit, and with two younger men.  They destroyed property - cutting through a fence, and then threw blood and painted slogans on the wall.  So sick!  They defaced Government property.  She - who more than likely comes from a convent that is regulated as a nuclear free-zone, walks shamelessly into a nuclear facility and contaminates herself and the young boys she forced to accompany her.  I know!  I thought she was against nuclear stuff?  Publicity hound.  Furthermore - how do we know the human blood was not contaminated with Ebola or AIDS?  Don't get me started on obedience.  (BTW - she's not allowed to ask for donations - but she's been good there.)

I thought the Vatican investigated these renegade, run-a-round, fly-by-night nuns?

What?

Caught red-handed.

Jacques Fesch is a good patron for you - and me.


You know who you are.

I like very much the meditation from today's Magnificat.  It stuns me every time I think about Jacques' rapid ascent in the short time between his arrest and execution.  He writes about faith:
I can see that faith is truly a gift of God.  One believes with the heart, without knowing why or even seeking to know.  The intimate certitude that fills one is enough.  Of all things, love is the most powerful. - Jacques Fesch 
Don't over think it: unlike atheism, it requires humility.

I also love his prayer, his insight considering how we do not know ourselves - it sounds very Teresian...
Lord, give us light.
How hard it is to love someone
 who does not love you,
to open to one
 who does not knock,
to give health to one
 who enjoys being sick
  who cultivates illness...
Have pity on those who have
 no pity for themselves. - JF

Sign of Contradiction


You talking to me?

This past week, thousands have come to the defense of a restaurant chain and the owner's right to free-speech.  Thousands support the man in his religious convictions - and that's a very good thing.  I support the same causes. 

I've also lost friends and business in the process. 

Thursday, August 02, 2012

This is very cool: Michele Bachman News...

For me, this news is proof Congressman Bachmann is NOT crazy:

The Thomas More Law Center today announced that Congresswomen Michele Bachmann (R- MN) has agreed to serve on the Law Center’s Citizens Advisory Board.
In accepting service on the Advisory Board, Congresswoman Bachmann stated, “I am pleased to join forces with the Thomas More Law Center. They are in the courts aggressively fighting the internal threat to America posed by radical Islam.”

Congresswoman Bachmann is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. As a member of that Committee, she has steadfastly advocated for peace through strength to ensure America’s national security.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “We are honored to have the counsel of a tough, tested, true American patriot; a person who puts her country above politics, party and political correctness. She understands and shares our concerns about the internal threat to our nation posed by Stealth Jihad as well as maintaining the Judeo-Christian values that made this nation ‘the shining city on the hill.” - Read the entire press release here.
Works for me.

Toldja she was smart.  Yes I did.  I did!  Yes! I! Did!

H/T Raimundo della Stella

Getting high on bathsalts...


Drugs - more dangerous than ever.

The stories of crazed people chewing the face off of their victims, and others arming themselves against imaginary gangstas hiding beneath their house, along with news stories of others running naked through the streets terrorizing onlookers - most of these reports seem to be related to bath salts abuse.  Incredibly, adults who could probably get better drugs*, are even using this stuff. Not that ordinary drugs are safe: Many of the recent 'sudden, unexpected' deaths of celebrities and others have been attributed to prescription pain killer use.  Likewise, it may turn out that the shooter in the Colorado theater massacre numbed himself with Vicodin before committing the attack.  Drug abuse in this country is pretty insane.

It makes me wonder if the devil even has to bother with possession when drugs can do the work for him? 

I blame the perpetrators.

*Remember the Whitney interview with Diane Sawyer?  Houston corrected Sawyer insisting that she and Bobby never used tacky street drugs - that stuff is low-class.

The Porziuncola



the little portion
for little friars
of our little
father francis...
a little portion
of heaven
on earth...
a little place
in my heart -
enclosed
in a great basilica
of the immaculate heart
of the blessed
vrgin mary,
queen of angels
and
friars minor.




The norms and grants of indulgences were completely reformed by Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council in his Apostolic Constitution "Indulgentiarum Doctrina" (1967), and the Portiuncula Indulgence was again confirmed at that time. According to the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, the Catholic faithful may gain a plenary indulgence on 2 August (the Portiuncula) or on such other day as designated by the local ordinary for the advantage of the faithful, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Holy Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), by devoutly visiting the parish church, and there reciting at least the Lord's Prayer and the Creed. The Indulgence applies to the cathedral church of the diocese, and to the co-cathedral church (if there is one), even if they are not parochial, and also to quasi-parochial churches. To gain this, as any plenary indulgence, the faithful must be free from any attachment to sin, even venial sin. Where this entire detachment is wanting, the indulgence is partial.

I still love this song...

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Chic fille ...


"That went well - the eat-in, I mean."

Chick-fil-A-ppreciation Day! Yay!

Notice the guy at the back in the tie-dye-T and plaid shorts.  I think it is too.

This hare piture wars sent ta me by Stella. [top - up der]  It shurs fulks ate Coffman Uniun ate tha Urneversitay o' Minnersoda Campuss, Manniapolis.



I kud not be thar in su-port, so saraously folks, su-port trad marriage and fray speech, freedom o' religion and all da stuff da gays ur tryin' to take erway.  Yup, I'm aginst da qay marriage crap too.



h/t to Ray at Stella for top photo.

Disclaimer:  2B sure:  I am against gay marriage and I support the Minnesota marriage amendment to protect traditional marriage, etc..  Likewise, I support businesses such as Chick-fil-a taking a stand on social issues, and so on and so forth, etc..  That said, it looks to me everyone waiting in line to place their order today enjoyed themselves - this post was done in that exact same spirit. 

BREAKING!  Update at 17:39 CST  Crescat and the other Catholic blogs at Patheos were down.  Kat and Fr. L posted on Chick-fil-A-ppreciation day - and now there blogs have gone black.  You know what they say - Once you go black, you never come back.  If something happens to my blog, notify the authorities.

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal
1925-2012
RIP



The "bitch" is dead.

Before Christopher Hitchens there was Gore Vidal.  He loved to fight and rile conservatives - a trait which, if there was anything likable about him, I appreciated and found rather entertaining. 

Though he had the reputation of being 'gay' he insisted he wasn't.  He hated such labels and limitations and tended more towards the notion of sexual fluidity.  A longstanding feud with William F. Buckley originated from a Buckley insult calling Vidal 'a queer' - that in retaliation to Vidal's fingering Buckley as a 'crypto-Nazi'.  Intellectual bitch fights.  Vidal battled Capote and Norman Mailer in much the same way.

He himself boasted there was no love in his heart:  “I’m exactly as I appear. There is no warm, lovable person inside. Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you find cold water.”  At least he was honest, although there must have been more warmth than he let on - he had cats and dogs.

All in all, he was a brilliant man.  Fortunately for him, he appeared to have found solace in a deep friendship with his companion, Howard Austen - once noting, 'the secret of their relationship was that they had never slept together.'

In every one there is good, perhaps in that first step into eternity, encountering such mystery, he was able to let himself be loved. 


Saint's relics...

Heart of St. John Vianney


Un-corrupted.

I'm not aware of any brains remaining incorrupt are you?  Saint's bodies and body parts, such as St. Anthony's tongue, St. Catherine's hand, remain incorrupt - but I'm not aware of incorrupt brains specifically.  That said, it seems to me the most extracted body part venerated as a relic has been the heart.  Not the brain.*

The heart.

*However, I did read somewhere that St. Gemma Galgani's brain remained incorrupt - But I can't verify it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some random thoughts you neither have to read, nor agree with...



In Christ there is no 'gay' or 'queer'...

There isn't - there can't be.  He is the perfect man, the complete man.  Likewise, as scripture tells us, in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, slave or freeman, male or female, but Christ is all in all - the Christian is truly a new creation; the old man has died - our authentic self is hidden with Christ in God.  There is no separate, special spirituality, no new anthropology, in fact, in Christ we are re-formed in the image of our Creator, God, our Father, in whom there is nothing queer - nothing disordered.  Hard for some to hear - and believe, but it is true. 

Today, for some, the argument appears to be little more than parable, no longer relevant or comprehensible to our highly evolved, enlightened 21st century intellectual and spiritual consciousness.  Many refuse to listen to what they perceive as a memorized script of traditional interpretations of scripture, as well as doctrine and dogma, recited over and over by 'naive' believers, who are easily dismissed as uncritical followers of what the Church teaches.  Yet it is precisely through Catholic teaching that one comes to know and accept one's true identity in Christ.  As one author puts it, "things which are already clear to believers are to be made obscure" so that, as yesterday's Gospel affirms, 'seeing, they do not perceive, hearing they do not understand.' 

To paraphrase a selection from the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola printed in Magnificat:
Some want to be free of their attachment to their sexual orientation, but they want this to be in such a way that they will still retain possession of that identity; so God is to approve what they themselves want, and there is no decision to relinquish it (in order to go to God), even if it might be better for them if they did.

“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike." - Matthew 11:25


 
Editor's note:  As many readers know, I am struggling to understand the gay-Catholic identity phenomenon.  I removed this post because I was afraid it came off as judgemental of those who appear to promote 'queer' identity - that is not my intent.  Readers asked that I restore the post - so here it is.  Moving on ... 

St. Ignatius of Loyola

art source

Ignatius of Loyola, July 31, 1556, was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. Loyola's devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by unquestioning obedience to the Catholic Church's authority and hierarchy. - Biographical details here.

It doesn't matter.



I wrote about that the other day, but then took it down. 

I should have just kept it in the post.

It doesn't matter.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Two monks, each 105 years old, die on the same day, July 29, 2012.



One an Athonite, the other a Trappist... born on opposite sides of the world, in 1907... die on the same day.

 The Athonite, Fr. John of Hilandari.

Fr. John of Hilandari

Today, Sunday 29 July 2012, the oldest living monk on Mount Athos reposed in the Lord. Fr. John of Hilandari was 105 years old. He lived at the Serbian Monastery of Hilandari.

Fr. John was born on 10 May 1907 in Serbia. Following World War 2 he emigrated to England where he stayed until the early 80's. It was during this time that his wife died and he decided to become a monk at Hilandari Monastery. Since then he never stepped foot off of the Holy Mountain.

Though he was a patriot of Serbia, he never once visited since World War 2, because, he says, "it is not the place I knew. It would not remind me of my childhood years and this would sadden me."

He lived a life of prayer and obedience. His service work all these years was as a gardener. Many remember him as the monk with bags on his knees crawling throughout the garden. - finish reading here.
The Trappist, Fr. Daniel of New Melleray.


Fr. Daniel Lenihan* died July 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM. He was 105 years old. Fr. Daniel entered New Melleray on May 17, 1946 and made his first profession of vows on September 12, 1948, and his solemn vows three years later. He was ordained a priest on May 3, 1955. The day and time of his funeral will be announced later.

Fr. Daniel, a native of Chicago, served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe. His duties as a monk have included construction work, laying concrete block, purchaser, guest master, spiritual director and Mass Secretary. - New Melleray

* I was blessed to know Fr. Daniel when I was at New Melleray in the novitiate.  He was a wonderful, faithful monk.

Many thanks to Mark of Joe Vs. the Volcano blog for the news on Fr. John of Mt. Athos.

"The poor you will always have with you, so make the best of it." - Terrance of Windom


My Muse...
"Never dress down for the poor.  They won't respect you for it.  They want their First Lady to look like a million dollars."  - Imelda Marcos


Thinking of you Fr. G and E.!

The problem with the Olympics...



It's become too "celebriteased"... too much about winning and endorsement and excess. 

"It’s not the winning that matters, it’s the taking part."  - Wasn't that the old motto?

An Awesome Fine Artist: Katie Schmid

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Monk at 105.

1907-2012


"He who dwells in the shelter of the most High and abides in the shade of the Almighty says to the Lord "My refuge, my stronghold, my God in whom in I trust." ... With length of life I will content him; I shall let him see my saving power." - Ps. 90

A friend sent me news of a monk we both knew, who had recently observed his 105 birthday, died today, July 29, 2012:
Monastery birthday notice: 
Today Fr. Daniel Lenihan is 105 years old. He retired from managing Mass Offerings about two months ago because of his declining health. During the last two weeks he has needed assistance to leave his bed in the infirmary. And for the past two days he has been resting quietly, ready to meet the Lord. If Fr. Daniel is not the oldest priest in the world he comes close. We are trying to find out if there are any older priests. He joined New Melleray in 1946. Rejoice with us as we celebrate the life and holiness of this wonderful monk.

Monastery death notice:

Fr. Daniel Lenihan died this morning at 11:40 AM. He was 105 years old. Fr. Daniel entered New Melleray on May 17, 1946 and made his first profession of vows on September 12, 1948, and his solemn vows three years later. He was ordained a priest on May 3, 1955. The day and time of his funeral will be announced later. - New Melleray Abbey
He was quite a monk. 

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts." - Proverbs 8:34

Thanks be to God.

Most of us need the cabbages.



On wholesome spiritual friendship.

Fr. Mark of Vultus Christi posted a peculiar - in a good way - little piece on friendship, which resonated with me and reminded me of one of my Desert Father stories...

First a glimpse at Dom Marco's piece:
"... one must have friendships in life. [ . . .] Let yourself love. There is no danger so long as the spirit of prayer exists in you. And young priests have hours of loneliness that are very hard. They need affection and tenderness. If you don't give it to them, they will go looking for it just anywhere.

Also, at certain hours we need someone to show us affection: a mother, a sister, a brother. Otherwise, if the heart is not anchored, it goes anywhere at all, and is lost." - One must have friendships in life.
And then, wisdom from the desert...
Mark asked Arsenius, 'It is right, isn't it, to have nothing unnecessary in one's cell? I saw a brother who had a few cabbages, and he was rooting them out.' Arsenius said, 'It is right, but each should do what is right for his own way of life. If he is not strong enough to endure without the cabbages, he will plant them again.' - Sayings of the Desert Fathers



It's a simple thing.   

...............For the priest, the religious, and the single layman.

Rabbits too.

Miraculous Image of The Blessed Virgin



Not on a tree trunk...

Not on an underpass wall, nor in an office-tower window-wall panel - but in rock.  The miraculous image, not painted by human hands is actually embedded in the rock walls of a cave once thought to be haunted.  It is this cave painting I had in mind in reference to the Virgin of Guadalupe pareidolia, which people in New Jersey believed appeared in a tree trunk a couple of weeks ago.  I offered that in Spanish colonial times, an original pareidolia could have been later enhanced by artists to bring out features and details otherwise undefined in the primitive imprint.  In the case of Las Lajas, it appears my theory was wrong.  The image has been studied and there is no natural explanation for its precision and detail.
But tests done when the church was built show how stupendous this image actually is. Geologists from Germany bored core samples from several spots in the image. There is no paint, no dye, nor any other pigment on the surface of the rock. The colors are the colors of the rock itself. Even more incredible, the rock is perfectly colored to a depth of several feet. - Nuestra Señora de las Lajas

The story.
On the borders between Colombia and Ecuador is a beautiful sanctuary, a wonder to its visitors. There is a venerated image of Our Lady of Las Lajas, and thousands and thousands of pilgrims from both countries visit each year and obtain many favors from God.

In the eighteenth century, María Mueses de Quiñones, a local woman from the village of Potosi, Colombia, often walked the six miles between her village and the neighbouring one of Ipiales. One day in 1754 as she was making the journey, she approached the place called Las Lajas (the Rocks), where the trail passes through a deep gorge of the Guaitara River. Maria never liked this part of the trail because there were rumors that a cave in Las Lajas was haunted. Such superstitions remained among the converted Christian Indians.

Maria was carrying her daughter Rosa, a deaf-mute, on her back. And by the time she had climbed to Las Lajas she was weary and sat on a rock to rest. The child got down from her back to play. The next thing Maria knew Rosa was at the cave shouting: “Mommy, there is a woman in here with a boy in her arms!” Maria became very frightened. This was the first time she had ever heard her daughter speak! She didn't see the figures the girl was talking about, nor did she want to. She grabbed the child and ran on to Ipiales.
[...]
Fearful of ridicule, Maria kept quiet about the event. But frequently she and Rosa went to the cave to place wild flowers and candles in the cracks of the rocks. The months went by with María and Rosa keeping their secret. However, one day the girl fell gravely ill and died. A distraught Maria decided to take her daughter’s body to Las Lajas to ask Our Lady to restore Rosa to life.

Pressed by the sadness of Maria’s unrelenting supplications, the Blessed Virgin obtained Rosa’s resurrection from Her Divine Son. Overflowing with joy, Maria went home. It didn’t take long for a crowd to gather. Early next morning everyone went to Las Lajas, each wanting to check the details for themselves.

That was when the marvellous picture of Our Lady on the wall of the grotto was discovered. Maria Muese de Quinones could not recall noticing it until then. The child Jesus is in Our Lady’s arms. On one side of Our Lady is Saint Francis; on the other is Saint Dominic. Her delicate and regal features are those of a Latin American, perhaps an Indian. Her abundant black hair covers her like a mantle (The two-dimensional crown is metal and was added by devotees much later on). Her eyes sparkle with a pure and friendly glow. She looks about fourteen years old. The indians had no doubt: this was their Queen.
[...]
So the mystery remains unsolved. Did angels do it? Or did God Himself do it at the dawn of creation, when he contemplated the most excellent of all His creatures? The One whom He would make Queen of Heaven and Earth and to whose maternal care the future nation of Colombia would be entrusted. - Nuestra Señora de las Lajas


Mass Chat: Vigils


Grand silence...