The week before Halloween, or Reformation Day as I have referred to it, I was in the DFW airport returning from a meeting at Fuller Seminary. I often pick up a copy of the Dallas Morning News (Saturday, October 30, 2004)- generally dwarfs the Dailing Oklahoman. I found an article in the Religion section that reminded me of our increasing culture of death – read infatution with all things death. The title of the article, “To Catholic Church’s chagrin, Mexicans honor ‘St. Death.’
The article chronicles the wildly successful ministry of David Romo in Mexico. Here are a few quotes of interest –
“Images of “la Santa Muerte” = a Grim Reaper-like skeleton swathed in white robes, with a toothy grin and scythe in hand – are everywhere. Dozens of parishoners hold statues of the image in their laps, occasionally caressing them. Some glass-encased candles bear the legend “death against my enemies.”
I am certain this runs counter to the words of Jesus – “Bless them that curse you.”
“It’s like the Santa Muerte is a holy figure for our times, with so much drugs and prostitution and criminality.” (Homerio Aridjis – novelist who has written a collection of fictinal stories titled La Santa Muerte)
The environment of distrust creates the need to trust something, why not a statue who with the right “method” will grant your request to avenge you against your enemies.
“Simply put, the old, familiar stuff is not enough anymore,” she said. “They need something more in this modern era.” (Katia Perdigon Castaneda)
Likely the most important statement. Could it me a modern religious machine has lost its connection with the changes in world, culture and society creating the need for self-examination?