Day 5 – Virgen de Guadalupe

Last week I listened to a sermon by Bishop Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and I was very moved and inspired by what he said. He made me feel alright. He said things like, “We need some crazy Christians… Jesus was, and is, crazy… and those that would follow him…”

His words about crazy prophets and disciples made me stop and think. Was I not told by family and friends that I was crazy for leaving the Roman Catholic Church to join up with “those Episcopalians”? They said I was crazy for leaving, crazy for abandoning my mother’s church–the church that married me, let alone the one I was baptized in. Crazy. They said I was crazy.

And, so I am. I am crazy for the Episcopal Church and all it embraces. I love the way it accepts my gay friends as children of God and how it lets me question its beliefs, without calling me a heretic. It encourages me to learn and study the history of Christianity and the development of it and other religions. The Episcopal Church challenges me every day to go out to love and serve God. It invites me to prayer and full participation in its life. It is a living faith where there is a place for women to participate fully in the body and life of the Church. This religion and this way of worship do not condemn me for being a woman, Latina, or anything else.

I grew up a Roman Catholic who was guilty of just about everything. I always felt I was not deserving of God’s love, much less being allowed to help the priest on the altar because I was a girl. I grew up having the Virgen de Guadalupe as my icon, an icon that–in my real self and real life–I could not emulate. Today I find myself as still faithful to the Virgen de Guadalupe as my intercessor, a “Mujer” like me, a doer, and a motivator, but I am also a Guadalupana who is crazy enough to say I love God and the Episcopal Church. That means I am standing up for myself and for all people and for a church that is brave enough and strong enough (and yes, crazy enough!) to not only think about changing paradigms but willing to take the first steps to walk as Jesus wants us to walk.

Mary Magdalene was crazy. The prophets were crazy. I am crazy with joy and with the will to stand up for the life of my Church, as it works at taking on the challenges of change for the good of humanity and the life of this earth: to bring us home to God.

Enedina Vasquez

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