By Dr Daniel Abosh
A group of young Sydney pilgrims led by Bishop Richard Umbers are travelling to Mexico and the US for a 15-day pilgrimage culminating in the March for Life in Washington on 24 January. This is the third installment in their blog series sharing their ‘life-changing’ journey.
“¿No estoy aquí, yo, que soy tu madre?
¿No estás bajo mi sombra?”
I have been looking forward to the Guadelupe and March for Life pilgrimage for roughly nine months. The trip offered to be a pilgrimage and a holiday, the bookend to a tumultuous, yet rewarding year.
Given my interest in life issues and my personal faith journey, the March for Life in Washington DC was due to be the highlight. Our Lady of Guadelupe is just another Marian apparition, right?
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
It was during our visit to Our Lady of Guadelupe, that I came to know her love. I was before Our Lord in Adoration, feeling lost and disheartened. I offered Him my anxieties and fears, but the only response I received was silence; I could not find rest in The Lord.
I wandered around the pilgrim site, spiritually alone and lost before I found myself back in the presence of Our Lady of Guadelupe in the new Basilica.
A mother’s role in a man’s life is foundational and unique. There, amidst hundreds of pilgrims and amidst the celebration of a Spanish Mass, She reached out to me. I opened my heart to Her, and She held and consoled me. I approached Our Lord once again in the Blessed Sacrament and this time, I left with greater trust, peace and faith.
Our Lady of Guadelupe is seen eclipsing the sun and standing on the moon; representing the pagan gods of Indigenous Mexican religion and culture. Her tilma depicts her victory over them, as interpreted by the Indigenous peoples of Mexico who practiced human sacrifice. Yet, she is praying with her head bowed towards The One who is greater; in her womb. Our Lady reflects the glory of our Lord and she leads us to Him.
It was in that moment, in front of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament that I was able again to pour out my heart. In front of Him, with greater strength I realised the true meaning of those words she spoke to Saint Juan Diego.
“Am I not here, who am your Mother?
“Are you not under my shadow and protection?”
Our Lady of Guadelupe, pray for us!