Seeing the Miraculous: Celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe
By Tasha Friedman
If we could see the world as it is, everything would appear as a miracle.
“Me, here, now…” The ineffable thrill of existence itself, the touch of magic that is alive in every moment.
In our common perception, the world seems ordinary and dull, driven by mindless forces and an endless chain of cause and effect. It’s as if the “life” has gone out of it.
But this is not how it is. It takes only a shift in perception, when either we choose to look in a different way, or something happens so contrary to the expected patterns that we have no choice but to drop everything and stand back in wonder.
When this happens, we call it a miracle.
A miracle might be out of the ordinary, but it is a glimpse of reality itself, the wild grace that follows no rules or conventions but only its own spontaneous expression.
The appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is celebrated in Mexico today, is one such event.
One winter day in 1531, in a village that would become a suburb of Mexico City, an indigenous farmer named Juan Diego had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Appearing to him as a young woman with dark skin and hair, she spoke in Nahuatl, Juan Diego’s native language.
Over the next few days, the legend goes that Mother Mary appeared three more times to Juan Diego and once to his uncle. She instructed Juan Diego to build a church in her honor and manifested several miracles: Castilian roses, blooming in the dead of winter, and the sudden healing of Juan Diego’s uncle, who had been ill.
Eventually, her shrine was constructed on that same hill, which had once held a shrine to Tonantzin, the Aztec Earth goddess. The ancient Earth-mother had manifested again as the Queen of Heaven.
The Virgin of Guadalupe, named after the town where she appeared, became a unifying symbol of Mexican independence and Mexican culture in general: a union of Aztec roots and Catholic faith, ancient and new.
We can take this day as an invitation to seek out the miraculous in our own daily lives. Nothing is beyond the realm of possibilities, in the all-embracing vision of the Heart that encompasses and integrates everything.
Let go of all expectations and, at least for a moment, open your eyes to see life for the miracle that it is.
Tasha is a Hridaya Yoga teacher and a frequent contributor to our blog. You can read all of her posts here.