Many Christians might disagree here, but I don’t care, as I’m not the sort of Christian that’s concerned with dotting my letters on the inside of orthodoxy at all times.

We worship death. Maybe not just death, but Death. 

Also, I don’t think we can escape the fact that we worship death; I think that is part of our human condition.

Don’t believe me?

Exhibit A: the crucifix.

For years, perhaps most of my life, I was always under the impressin that the crucifix was a symbol of Christ-suffering. Only recently when Mambo LaReina talked about some of the Vodou practitioners saying that it’s unlucky to wear a dead man around one’s neck and upon my noticing that there is indeed a pierced, bleeding side on most crucfiixes did I begin to realize that I was staring at the dead body of my God.

And I’m okay with that.

You always have the ninny-headed Christians who run around saying, “Crucifixes are wrong because Jesus is no longer on the cross.”

The less charitable part of myself wants to say, “Oh, go fuck yourself while reading some Joel Osteen, you Evangelical moron.” The more charitable part of me just  shakes my head and moves on.

I would probably also cross myself to make the point.

I definitely swear enough to be a good Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian. The big question is when I’ll start drinking enough to claim the same title. 

Last night, while talking to my friends, I made the point about our worshiping death. In a way, death is seen as the enemy in Christianity. 

That is, until you consider that Christ sanctified death.

The parallel we see in the archetypal level of things is the instance of Santa Muerte, Saint Death. She’s condemned officially by the Catholic Church in Mexico, but her cult of followers are growing increasingly.

I’m one of them. 

Santa Muerte looks like a female grim reaper merged with Our Lady of Guadalupe. The hypothesis is that she’s a syncretized ancient Aztec deity that’s worshiped until the veil of a saint.

But I also read elsewhere the this spirit actually believes she’s Catholic now. That opened my eyes a bit- none of us have considered that maybe spirits and entities change religions, too. 

So, if you think about it, the concept of the Aztec goddess who guards the realm of the dead converting to Catholicism just makes sense- Christ has sanctified her, too, in other words.

The sanctifcation of death by Christ is more veiled; with Santa Muerte, it’s literallyonly veiled, a veiled skeleton. 

She’s also very kind.

My experience with Santa Muerte was that, despite looking like a skeleton, she’s a very sweet saint. She showed me how to give glory to God, to praise Him. At this point, words fail me, because I can’t explain what exactly I was shown, only that I was shown, and that I know that Santa Muerte prays for me, that Death herself is now rooting for me in this world.

In my case, I don’t worship saints and spirits; venerate, yes, including Santa Muerte, but I don’t worship her. Worship goes to the Ultimate Reality and the Ultimate Reality alone.

So strange, really, so strange, that it all plays out the way it does. Now, I can’t look at Christ without thinking of death, and I feel better and better about Life. 

Stevo 

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