Spiritual Minute: Mary Our Little Daughter!

Today at McDonald’s I met a wonderful boy named Diego and I quickly ascertained from his mother that Diego had been born on the feast day of Saint Juan Diego, the saint who received the apparitions surrounding the manifestation of the Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Guadalupe. My sister is also on pilgrimage today or tomorrow at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, carrying all of our family’s intentions to her to ask for her help with all of our troubles. God never ceases in assuring us of his love and care, if we have the eyes to see his assurances! I can’t begin to explain the many assurances of the Spirit I have received recently, they keep pouring down like a torrential rain to the point that it is impossible to keep up with them, to contain them in my mind in order to cherish them. I have to do a better job of writing these things down just as the Israelites wrote down all of the wonderful things that God had done for them in delivering them from oppression in spite of their very great infidelity in sinning before God.

At McDonald’s I immediately thought of the below words of kindness that Our Lady spoke to Diego when he was avoiding her because he was busy fetching a priest to come and hear his uncle’s confession before he died. Mary appeared to him again and stopped him on his way intervening to tell Diego that she had made intercession for the complete healing of his uncle. Upon hearing this great news Juan set out on the errand that the Blessed Mother had requested of him, to go to the Bishops and bring him the sign that would convince him to build the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Tepeyac.

Let us never fail to ask our Blessed Mother Mary for whatever it is we need. If it is in the Divine Will she will be able to grant us whatever we ask, and if what we ask is not God’s Will she will comfort us and give us the joy of being her sons and daughters in the love of her Son and of his Cross.

I am particularly attracted by the very great tenderness with which Juan and Mary speak to one another. In that particular culture to use the suffix “ito” means to say something is small. Often one might refer to a child by saying hijo (meaning son or hija for daughter) and add the diminutive suffix to say “mi hijito” to mean my little son. But this means much more than to say someone is small, it means that this person is greatly loved, humble, and child-like. In other words, to use the suffix “ito” is to express a very great tender intimacy between persons, something like the love that exists between God the Father and God the Son. What a beautiful expression of God’s love, a love that also is a person, the Holy Spirit of Divine Love. I also love the way that Juan refers to our most exalted Mother as his daughter! How wonderful! She is truly the most humble, the most pure, the most innocent, the most united with God’s love, our precious daughter, our little one, our most tender-hearted little girl! And she is our greatest mother, our queen, and our sovereign. This in no way detracts from her littleness and her humility,  her sisterhood with the human family, but on the contrary her humility is the cause of her greatness and her power.

Below is the conversation between the two of them that day.

“What’s there, my son the least? Where are you going?” Was he grieved, or ashamed, or scared? He bowed before her. He saluted, saying: “My Child, the most tender of my daughters, Lady, God grant you are content. How are you this morning? Is your health good, Lady and my Child? I am going to cause you grief. Know, my Child, that a servant of yours is very sick, my uncle. He has contracted the plague, and is near death. I am hurrying to your house in Mexico to call one of your priests, beloved by our Lord, to hear his confession and absolve him, because, since we were born, we came to guard the work of our death. But if I go, I shall return here soon, so I may go to deliver your message. Lady and my Child, forgive me, be patient with me for the time being. I will not deceive you, the least of my daughters. Tomorrow I will come in all haste.”

After hearing Juan Diego’s chat, the Most Holy Virgin answered: “Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything. Do not be afflicted by the illness of your uncle, who will not die now of it. be assured that he is now cured.” (And then his uncle was cured, as it was later learned.)

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