Updated: Jan 29, 2021
One thing I find so cool about the Catholic Faith is that the culture of the world may change, but the Faith is universal and unchanging. The world throws different challenges at us at various times, but the common answer to these unique problems is Christ and His Church.
An example is evident in Our Lady of Guadalupe. When Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, Mexico had recently come under Spanish rule. His culture and religion was still dominated by Aztec practices. The most infamous feature of Aztec religion was its practice of human sacrifice. The Aztecs would slice people open and rip their hearts out, because they believed that their sun god had to feed on those organs otherwise the world would end. It was considered a great honor to be sacrificed despite the painful and barbaric nature of the act. When Our Lady came, however, everything changed. She called for conversion from and repentance of the wicked and depraved tradition of human sacrifice. Millions of Native Americans responded over the ensuing years by rejecting this grave sin and becoming faithful Catholics. It is appropriate, then, that Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the Patroness of the Unborn.
In our culture, hedonism and selfishness have been deified. One of the consequences of this is widespread abortion, which has resulted in the slaughter of one million children per year in the United States. Abortion reciprocally gives the cultural “gods” of hedonism and selfishness more power. Sound familiar? Abortion is child sacrifice to the culture of death and its gods, just as the Aztecs sacrificed humans to their sun god. When Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, she called for his society’s turn to Christ and for an end to the ritual human sacrifice that came with their old ways. This call to conversion and repentance worked in 16th-century Mexico. In 21st-century America, we need to remember it, and apply it to our culture by turning away from child sacrifice and coming to Christ, just as the Aztecs did.