La Santa Muerte

I had a brief and interesting conversation with our taxi driver tonight. Our coordinator Sean likes to ask taxi drivers about the things they have in their taxis, so I thought I would ask our taxista Roberto about his many images of La Santa Muerte, or the Sacred Dead. She is like a grim reaper, and there's a very large subculture here that worships her. I'd never actually talked to someone who did, so I thought this was a good opportunity.

"Is this the Sacred Dead?" I asked.

"Yes, I have several." (Pointing to the other images.)

"Are these things that you use to worship, or do you just think they're cool, or what?" (He also had a cross, so I was curious.)

"Oh yes, we woship her, she is like a little angel that protects us."

"So are you Catholic?" (Pointing to the cross.)

"Yes, yes I am."

"Oh, I don't really know much about religion in Mexico, so I didn't know that the Sacred Dead was a part of Catholocism."

"Well, the Catholic church rejects her, and lots of other religions too, but it's like God is good, and demons are evil, and she's in the middle, neither good nor bad. So she can help us. And what religion are you?"

"Oh, I'm Christian." (He asked if I had been at church, so we talked a bit about the small group we had just left.)

"So you guys don't believe in the Sacred Dead?"

"Well, no. We believe that the only mediator we need is Jesus Christ, like the Bible says."

"Oh yeah, well, Jesus tells you to follow him, to come to him. The Sacred Dead doesn't say that. We can just do what we want and she protects us. But I respect all religions. I mean, you talk about religion or politics, you're going to disagree right?"

And that was about it. I still find it so amazing that we as people all over the world seem to have no problem whatsoever hanging our crosses next to our idols, whatever form it may have. But what really struck me about this man is how honest he was about not wanting to follow Jesus, even if he wanted Jesus to be a part of his religion. But the thing is, following Jesus isn't a burden - it isn't easy, but it's a life of love and hope, a life that lasts.

Good and evil, God and Satan, they're not equal opposites. Jesus conquered sin and death - if we follow him, we have no need to fear the other powers of this world. I think we all need to be reminded of that.


Lerin said...

I've never heard of Santa Muerte. I find it strange when people claim to be Catholic, but don't follow the teachings of the Church. How can you be Catholic if you reject the Church's teaching and authority?

living.in.tune said...

That's crazy. I do the same thing keeping my cross next to my idol. You know. Myself. I am my worst enemy I feel. I need to learn to take myself of the rear view mirror and focus only on my bobble head Jesus. Thanks for the post.