“Hear me and understand well, my little son, 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?”
--Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego
By Denise Trull
The liturgy for Advent is dripping with exquisite beauty. It falls lavishly everywhere, and I revel in it. But this morning as I was praying, this one very simple verse brought tears to my eyes. "I will help you, says the Lord. I am your Savior the Holy One of Israel."
That was all, and yet that one sentence “I will help you,” said by the Almighty creates a relief so profound in the human heart it is hard to express it adequately. God is here, and not just here. He is here to help me. It is Our Lady who echoes these words of the Father to Juan Diego and to us today. I will help you.
That simple sentence even among mere humans brings an anxious heart peace, a worried and busy heart aid, a discouraged heart hope. It disarms us completely.
So many times we say it in a day, and it never fails to comfort. I will help you. I will help you wash the dishes, Mom. I will help you with your geometry homework. I will help you navigate that puzzling website. I will do the night feedings, Hon. Don’t worry, I will help you with your college applications. I will help watch the kids. I will help you. I will help you in your pregnancy and ask no questions nor make any judgements on your very puzzled, young heart. I will help you ask for forgiveness by meeting you with mine. I will help you see life as beautiful when depression weighs so heavily upon you. I will help you. I will help you by accepting your own help in my life. I will help you find your dignity in old age.
I will absolve you from your sins. I will bring you beautiful Masses. I will call down the Body of Christ to feed you. I will hold your hand if you are scared. I will help you.
I will help you try to understand yourself better. I will listen. I will let you cry and not ask too many questions. I will laugh with you until our sides ache. I will help you. I will walk slower so you can keep up.
The relief those four simple words bring to an overburdened mind or heart is immeasurable.
Today’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe carries just that message. In case we have forgotten. We are not alone. We are loved by all of Heaven. Our Lady comes to us in beauty, surrounded by roses in the middle of winter just to tell us once again - to enchant us with her encouragement on our slow, trudging journey home. Her voice soft, her image warm and inviting in our winters of doubt or sadness. She is like a beautiful fairy tale and yet she is real. And from her lips we hear the words we long for. She is here to help us, and she always will be.
It is the most loving and fatherly thing God could say to us. I am here. I am your savior. Don't worry. I know it is hard to live in the world. I know how weak you are. Here is my Mother. She will help you, too. We are here. Don't be afraid. Such simple words. Such powerful affect. Blessed be God forever.