Today (April 18) is Holy Thursday, the beginning of the three-day Paschal Triduum, or the three days of the Christ's Passion and then his death by crucifixion and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. …
Today (April 18) is Holy Thursday, the beginning of the three-day Paschal Triduum, or the three days of the Christ's Passion and then his death by crucifixion and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. The 40-day Lenten spiritual season is nearly over.
Around the world including el norte (Northern New Mexico), billions of Christian faith followers are sharing in devotional rites, exercises and reenactments commemorating the spiritually seismic events that happened over 2,000 in Jerusalem.
Some of these religious exercises include the famous Passion Plays in Oberammergau, Germany; realistic Holy Week reenactments in the Philippines; and the intense devotions in el norte such at El Santuario de Chimayo and in churches, capillas and moradas.
That the Christ Jesus died on the cross, was buried and then resurrected from death to life is the central tenet of today's two billion or so Catholic and related Christians. That belief and hope in the supernatural, divine life, is what causes Christianity to flourish.
Christianity came to el norte in the 1500s and clashed with the native religious traditions. By now there has occurred much spiritual accommodation among the diverse cultures and there is some blending of faiths and of familial bloodlines as well.
At El Santuario de Chimayó and other spiritual centers in el norte it is wonderful to see many thousands of faithful, pilgrims and seekers converge during Holy Week and other times to obtain peace and healing. El Santuario is famous for its healing earth and waters and clay. Thousands of written and photographed testimonials of "miraculous" healings are posted there for all to see. Many people have mixed the earth and waters from there and applied it as a healing clay salve.
Earth and water as clay are believed to have healing properties, in addition to being used as vessels and pots. And sometimes these clay vessels are used to convey prayers and blessings.
Recently a friend of this writer was scheduled to attend a conference at Vatican City in Rome, where Francis, the Catholic Pope, was also to be. I asked my friend to take a clay vessel from here, an "ollita de barro," to be prayed over and blessed by Francis and then brought back conveying his blessing to el norte and our fraternidades and sociedades as a sign of our mutual spiritual solidarity. This was done and the blessed vessel is back.
The blessing request is: "Nuestro Padre Francisco, los miembros de los Fraternidades y los fieles del Norte del Suroeste en los Estados Unidos de America te bendicemos y te damos la promesa profunda y firme de trabajar sin cesar para ayudar, avanzar, augmentar, y llevar adelante en el mundo nuestro trabajo de la Fé; y que quedas asegurado de nuestra bendición, y nuestra promesa. Y Santo Padre Francisco, te pidemos, echanos también su Santa Bendición a dicho Fraternidad Piadosa y a todo el nórte, la cual que la recibiremos en el Nombre del Padre, y el Hijo, y el Espiritu Santo. Y si gusta, concedenos una señal de tu gracia y favor de esta suplicación. Gracias, su Santidád."
The blessing from Francis will be part of the Holy Week activity at El Santuario.
Earth, water, fire of faith - past, present and future - are some of the elements that make up our experience in el norte, and in the world at large. We look ahead to those who are yet to be born, and those of our company who have preceded us to this point, from this life. For those who are gone, we offer the Shroud of Christ prayer, El Sudario: "Señor Dios, que nos dejaste la señal de tu sagrada pasión y muerte, la sábana santa en que fue envuelto tu cuerpo santo, concedenos Señor salvador, que por tu muerte y sepulture santo has llevado las almas de nuestros antepasados fieles a descansar en la Gloria de tu Resurrección en donde tu vives, con el Padre y el Espíritu Santo, por todos los siglos."
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