One of my favorite movies of all time is Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey based on Arthur C. Clarke’s short story The Sentinel. In the 1968 movie the astronaut Dave Bowman arrives to a kind of inter-dimensional door in space. We do not see what he sees but the screen shows his amazed expression as he says: “My God! It’s full of stars!”  I had a similar experience early in the morning of April 2 when I woke up and had an epiphany of sorts. It was about the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I will try to explain.
First, the Aleph. I read the story by Jorge Luis Borges for the first time when I was eleven years old. There I learned that the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet in its earlier forms represented a plowing ox. Later as the characters got more stylish and beautiful, the Aleph represented a tiny man pointing with one arm to the Heavens and the other to the ground (Earth) meaning that one must be the reflection of the other. I was told that from that small parable comes the whole science of understanding the Hebrew alphabet.
Fairly recently it was discovered that the stars in the mantle of Our Lady of Guadalupe represent exactly the position of a number of stars as they were seen in the sky over Mexico on 12 December 1531. Not as we see them with the naked eye but in reflection, that is the way someone looking in from outside the Universe would see them. Notice that we have been able to reproduce the positions of the stars that night with the aid of very advanced computer programs. The secret of the stars in the mantle of Our Lady has been waiting patiently five centuries for technology advanced enough to discover it. Gustavo Serrano, a young engineer from Mexico City told me that the ancient Mexicans studied the stars in reflection over water. A very clever way to avoid neck pain but also a practical way to remember the pattern of the constellations in reference to visible fixed points. So the mantle of Our Lady of Guadalupe is reflecting the stars like the ancient Lake Tenochtitlan in a quiet night.
As you know very well Our Lord taught in parables, he also constructed images and counterpoints that could reach us through time and many translations of the Gospels. For example when he tells us the parable of the Good Samaritan he uses the road as a representation of history. The road from Jericho to Jerusalem unites two cities: one was conquered first by Joshua (Jericho) and the other, the last city conquered by David (Jerusalem.) When we contemplate the image we understand that the man assaulted by the robbers is a Jew representing Israel, Christ is represented by the Good Samaritan, the religious clerics of the day by the Priest and the Levite, while the Inn — where the Samaritan leaves the poor Jew to rest and recover — is the Church. The image is there to be discovered. Once found it opens and enriches the meaning of Jesus’ words. Images of that kind are common in Scripture, we could say that is part of God’s style of teaching.
In my opinion the image impressed miraculously on St Juan Diego’s tilma is the “Aleph” of a new alphabet that has entered the material creation from Heaven. I believe one day we will understand it and use it in the same way we understand and use our alphabet today. Imagine that!
The image on the tilma transmitted instantly a number of messages to San Juan Diego, then to the Chichimeca natives and then to nine million native Mexicans who converted to the Catholic faith at the same time that nine million Germans left the Church to join the German Reformation.
This miracle of communication can be exemplified in our day by the way Donald Trump connected with the electorate during his campaign deftly using the media available to him. He tweeted something in the morning and got everybody in the mainstream media talking about it. Then he talked to Fox & Friends for 10 or 15 minutes amicably, later called Morning Joe and argued with Scarborough. Then he went about his day and closed by talking to Sean Hannity in the evening. With this simple strategy he used the equivalent of about 7 or 8 million dollars of media time every day of the campaign — not paying one red cent for it — while his adversaries broke their backs raising billions to be spent in one or two minute ads that in the end were literally obliterated by Trump’s abundant exposure.
There is something here, a kind of sign about what the future of communicating the Gospel may be. I do believe the message of Guadalupe is very important for our times. I have started to write about it. I hope to have a book ready soon. It’s fascinating and it’s filled with stars!
 “My god, it’s full of stars” is a phrase associated with a scene from the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” in which the protagonist David Bowman is traveling through the star gate created by the monolith orbiting Jupiter and the awed expression face that he gives. From knowyourmeme.com
 For those who are not familiar with American TV: those are popular television programs in the United States.
Looking forward to your book, Carlos!
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Coming up! Please pray that I won’t be interrupted by life’s surprises and the work of the enemy.
Did you notice that not only computers but also the electronic microscope was between 4 to 5 centuries in the future. Those inventions allowed people to see the scene in Our Lady’s eyes. So she is communicating with the Chichimecas and the Spaniards of 1531 but also with us, and perhaps with people in the future. It was not until 2000 to 2004 that we had computers and programs powerful enough to replay the movements of the constellations at will. Today we can invoke the sky of 12 December 1531 and match it with the mantle.
One more thing that was found is the music please see this short video to hear it:
Now that kind of tonal sequence sounds a lot like a quasar. A Brazilian artist of my generation (he’s 70 something now) Caetano Veloso composed a song based on a pulsar sound sequence. It is strangely similar to the music found in the mantle, a music of star origin:
The question is what else is there in that image. What kind of new way to communicate the Gospel is this? Or is it the same that it has been since the beginning? I think this is a continuous course in the ways of the Heavens that starts in Mary’s house, in Nazareth. We have been reading the Gospel carelessly without asking questions. We must learn from the Chichimeca who saw the virginity, the mother, the princess, the stars, the sun, the moon, the attributes that are essential to the Gospel without actually knowing the words of the Gospel. In a way the image of Mary leads them to the Logos, her Son.
The tilma begins with St Luke possibly talking to Mary back when she was living in Ephesus with the family of John. There is a tradition about the original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe (in Extremadura, Spain) that attributes the sculpting of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe (in Extremadura) to St Luke. Looking at all the elements of the story I developed the strong suspicion that St Luke –still alive in Heaven today– was the artist that painted the tilma because that is a work of art and not a photo-like impression like the Shroud of Turin, for example. No one can say for sure of course.
In my limited experience, communications from on high are of various kinds.
Perhaps the most common are probability bulges – commonly called coincidence. Sometimes they can be quite startling such as the “chance” that the various atomic forces are balanced so precisely that the universe can survive and even come into being. Some probability breaks are subtle and even private. It means something to the individual, but would not necessarily have meaning if described to another person. Once I was in church on Good Friday and a ladybug landed on my thumb and would not leave. I “knew” at that instant that someone close to me had died. In fact, the person had died at that exact time. The person had been sick and was not expected to survive, but the little timing “coincidence” provided the affirmation of the event. No lady bug has ever appeared to me in church before or since. Note that there was nothing frightening of macabre about the event.
Next, I am aware of experiences that could be described as piercing the veil. These are moments when the temporal and the eternal intersect. These are sometimes called “visions”. I would include near death experiences and apparitions in that category. One might include ghosts and other “paranormal” events, some of which may be of demonic origins however.
Then there are signs. Signs are material expressions of transcendental potentials. A sign could be anything from a “miraculous” healing to a rare alignment of the stars. The cross is a sign. Signs may be active or passive. I can make the sign of the cross, or I can receive the water of baptism.
In my own life, I am aware of direct “verbal” communication from the eternal realm. This can be experienced in dreams, in certain waking situations (usually when emotionally stressed) and may only happen once or three times in a life. Great saints sometimes come close to despair after having had such an experience, when for unknown reasons the communication ceases. The words, “My God, my God why have thou forsaken me?” spoken from the cross and preflected in the Old Testament are (to my ears) the most chilling in the entire Bible. Many holy persons have described the feeling that God has withdrawn from a previous intimacy.
Lastly, creation itself is a work that reveals much about the author. Symbols and metaphor would come under this type of communication. As you noted, heaven is reflected on earth. Reflections are “like” the original, but are not the original and lack the ultimate reality of the original. God is (in many ways) like a still, small voice, but God is not a still, small voice and has many other ways. When we love others, we are reflecting the source of all love. The same goes for truth, justice and human creativity. We can bring into being earthly things from children to musical arrangements and so reflect His creation. We can learn about Him from our own earthly efforts. The closer we get to truth and beauty, the closer we get to opening ourselves to His love and to holiness. But truth must always be what is and not what we imagine. It is harder than it seems to accept reality.
Any of the communications may have multiple characteristics of the various types mentioned above. A sign might be co-incidental and be informed with metaphorical meaning. Much of what we take in is too personal to express meaningfully to others. It seems to me, like the tilma, that there is always more to be discovered in any such communication.
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