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Maya Monthly October 2014

Oct 18, 2014

I’ve been back in Mexico for close to a month. This experience never fails to help me face my own humanity. The other day I was trying to get up on the roof and repair the cracks so that the water wouldn’t drip through the concrete onto my bed. Suddenly I realized: “this is stupid! What is a 73 year old man doing climbing a ladder, jumping up on the roof in 90 degree weather – and what do I know about repairing concrete roofs in the first place? It took me close to 30 years just to pronounce the word “Impermeabilizar” which is what they do here to roofs that leak!


I guess it is obvious that I finally got down. The roof no longer leaks – thanks to Jesus, not the one you might be thinking about, but an abanil (cement worker) whom I got to help me!


Now for another enlightening moment –


I turned over the calendar at the beginning of the month – This is what I saw:




Now you know why I got up on the roof. Some would think that it is not just my heart which is detached, but my brain! Well Francis didn’t say that.


Maybe it is age, but I think it is the experience of living here which has helped “detach my heart.” There isn’t a day that goes by when my hardened heart doesn’t feel touched by the people I meet, the stories I hear, the lives I am privileged to share.


I stopped by to see Sergio. He is old and beaten down. His children have sold his house from under him. His boss never signed him up for the social security he should have had so he gets less than $150.00 a month to live on. The city has sent eviction notices for not paying his taxes. He can hardly walk but he tries to get to Mass every day. My own faith is shaken to its roots when I see how much Sergio believes that God is present in his life and in the Eucharist. His hands shake as he asks the pastor to place the Eucharist in his hand. That pastor who is a pompous ass (and I do not apologize for calling him that) will not give Sergio the Eucharist!


Where are our hearts?


Finally, finally, many in our church are saying that we have to welcome gays and lesbians, not call them degenerate. We are asked to not judge, to welcome everyone – to embrace the prostitute and the prisoner. I don’t know many prostitutes or prisoners. Something, someone tells me I should! Then I might know God a lot better and understand love a lot more.


2014 OctoberIn a few days gringos will be celebrating Halloween. They say Americans spend billions of dolares on decorations, parties, food and drink – second only to Christmas. Well my friends, once again the Maya have a better answer to face and deal with death! And they hardly spend a dime! It’s called Dia de los Muertos. You take some pork or chicken, put it in some maza, wrap it in a banana leaf, and throw it in a fire for a couple of hours. Then you gather friends and family and eat. It’s called Pib. It has reminded the Maya of the reality of life and death for thousands of years.


This October 31st, I will not dress up as a Ghost, or Goblin or even like Pope Francisco or Sr. Cunigunda. I will go downtown and participate in the procession of the Almas. And I will try to remember that this is a very special night, a time to remember all the departed almas.


I might not have a lot of time before I join them (and neither might you), but let’s continue to open our hearts to others and make this world a better place.


Con Paz y amor,



Remembering all of you !!!! Feliz Dia de los Muertos


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