Let’s talk about faith. Faith and Mexico. Faith in Mexico. A conversation that implies discussing mine as much as theirs. They’re Catholic here. Yes, there are Mormons living out a Romneyesque exile and Evangelicals and a Baptist mission just moved into the town down the road. But they’re Catholic here. So am I, and that makes things for me easy. Easier, at least, than for the handful of Jews and Protestants and the profusion of atheists in our group. I mentioned in a much earlier post the strange lack of overlap between granola crunchers and rosary fondlers and that holds true still.
Being Catholic, I know the dance if not the song, and with a scrip in hand I’m well enough at home. I can enlighten my fellow Volunteers as to why a statue of a saint is not a sacrilege and why fetishizing Mary is more or less kosher, even the reasoning behind the pantheons of virgins that hold sway over the countryside and Guadalupe who rules the whole.
I can reassure Lupe time and again that I’m baptized and confirmed if not recently shriven and that I’ve taken the body and blood. My Catholicism comforted and comforts both of my host mothers. I know that the one in Querétaro, no matter how the Peace Corps has accustomed her to the Orientals and Hebrews that she previously prejudged, took pride in that I went to Mass when she invited.