Chimayo Chile and Taking God for Granted


El Santuario de Chimayo

El Santuario de Chimayo

We lived in New Mexico for a few years and have been visiting family there for along time now. While we were there, I was able to drive up into the hills of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains to the beautiful adobe church known as El Santuario de Chimayo for some prayer time and to pick up the best red chile powder available from anywhere. I love chile and love to cook with Chimayo Chile powder and have been doing so for years now.

Inside Chapel

Inside Chapel

When we moved to Wisconsin I had a small amount left but finished it up shortly after moving here. So I have been out of it for a couple of years now. Thankfully, we received a new batch (a friend picked it up for us) and I quickly made a pan of red chile with ground beef. The scent was divine and the flavor so, so, so good. Oh how I missed that delicious taste that only comes from the chile I buy from El Portero next to the chapel.

Funny thing I noticed when cooking, I actually spooned the chile out and measured it carefully, something I never do. I was careful not to use more than needed. Once I learn to cook something, I rarely measure (I eyeball it and go by taste). I am always generous when cooking with chile powder–always. I wasn’t this time. The thought was in my mind that it had been years since I had this chile and if I wanted more it would be a bit costly to order it and have it shipped. So I was careful and used only what I needed.

This got me thinking about God, the Church, and how much I take for granted. I have easy access to the sacraments and to liturgical services. I am well aware of God being present and with me. Lately these truths have made me careless in some ways, even nonchalant in the sense of having a lack of enthusiasm and taking my relationship with God for granted.

When we were living in California where I needed to drive over an hour to receive the sacraments and attend services, I had a different appreciation for it all. The easy access, has made me lazy. Something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

Of course it’s not all that cut and dry, multiple complex issues in life have taken a toll on me too. But in the end I know it’s time to kick things up a notch and be more diligent and vigilant in life and with my relationship with God and the Church.

Recently, when reading the daily scripture to the kids, this subject came up. I don’t remember the exact scripture but it lead us to talking about vigilance. The scripture made the kids think of Holy Week and all the verses saying that the Bridegroom comes in the midst of the night. We talked about being ready for Christ to come and how we do not know when that will be. I told them we need to make sure we are ready by living good lives every day; praying as often as we can remember to, participating in the sacraments regularly, going to confession when needed and not putting it off. Oh, snap! It is often in teaching the kids something that I end up seeing my own faults and sins. Yes, I have been guilty of putting off confession and communion lately. I have taken for granted what is now so easily accessible to me. I have not been vigilant but have been careless.

So I have resolved to not only measure my wonderful Chimayo Chile powder out carefully to make it last but to also stop taking God’s love for me and the access to His grace in the sacraments for granted.


  1. I love this analogy! This is such a good topic, which I feel we always need reminders of. I have actually seen many of my former high school classmates start to drift from the Catholic Church because they grew up in a diocese where daily Masses, free Catholic schools, and perpetual Adoration abound-so they eventually take it for granted and drift away. In my own life, I have dealt with that at times, too. Having the sacraments so accessible in the place where I live is a blessing, but it also makes it super easy to be lazy. Thank you for sharing your awesome reflection!

  2. I have been to Chimayo! What a Holy Place! And I still have dirt from the Chapel Floor!
    Fr. Bryan

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