Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Culture Free

Some religious traditions like to think of themselves as free of secular culture, or acting as a corrective to narrow secular views.  I think maybe not.  Martin de Porres was a Peruvian Mulatto.  He had a black mother and Spanish (more white) nobleman father.  The father had no interest in Martin.  The father was Catholic.  So Martin applies to the Dominicans.  They are in Peru to do convert work.  Become Catholic, but if mulatto, don't bother trying to become one of us, a Dominican.  They take him in as a lay brother.  He is not to be included as a full member of the Dominicans.  Let him sweep floors and clean toilets.  The Dominicans were very much a part of the culture of prejudice.  But God is not so prejudiced in giving out talents.  Martin had a talent for herbs, as in medicinal benefits.  Plus, he seemed to enable healing by his touch and manner when in the presence of the in-firmed.  So he gets a bump to running the infirmary.  From there, he ministers to all those groups that were being put down by the upper crust Catholic nobility of Peru, the conquerers.  This would be slaves, native Indians, the poor, and such.  The biggest miracle is that Martin did not succumb to the culture, either religious or secular.  Saints are Outliers.

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