In the story the hero, who is actually a local squire, believes himself to be Don Quixote a brave knight and a nobleman. He has set off across the country to prove himself in gallantry, bravery and heroism. He meets Aldonza, a scullery maid of ill repute, a woman who has been battered and worn by all the terrible things in life....but in his eyes...she is beautiful, she is pure and to him she is a lady, his lady...the lady of a gallant nobleman. She has a hard time buying that since she knows all the horrible things she has done and had done to her but he will not hear her denials and christens her with the name of Dulcinea which means Dream...She IS his dream girl.
It may be weird to you but when I hear this story I see the Lord....does He not call His Church, His Bride pure and holy? While we, as members of Her see the ugliness...the unsightliness...the dirt if you will...She is not pure, She is not spotless and of course He can never return until She is...so we keep working and hoping and praying that She/we can do better, get cleaner, be gooder....all useless...She/we will never become pure and spotless in our efforts...He alone can look upon His Bride and make Her as lovely as She is described in scripture....and He does...by His own faith, His own vision, His own actions..His own speaking of Her to BE as He sees Her. In so doing, He makes Her into the woman He needs and wants for His own.
On occasion...if we are very fortunate...we too can see with His eyes...we can see Her as He sees Her...beautiful, radiant, spotless, perfect....and when that occurs...the words of this scene seem so appropriate...
DON QUIXOTE: (enters the inn)
Sweet lady... fair virgin...
(Don Quixote averts his eyes worshipfully)
I dare not gaze full upon thy countenance Lest I be blinded by beauty.
But I implore Thee - speak once thy name.
DON QUIXOTE: My lady jests.
DON QUIXOTE: The name of a kitchen-scullion... or perhaps my lady's serving-maid?
ALDONZA: I told you my name! Now get out of the way. (She clears past him to the table.)
DON QUIXOTE: (Smiling, sill keeping his eyes averted) Did my lady think to put me to a test?
Ah, sweet sovereign of my captive heart.
I shall not fail thee, for I know...
I have dreamed thee too long, Never seen thee or touched thee.
But known thee with all of my heart.
Half a prayer, half a song, Thou hast always been with me,
Though we have been always apart.
I see heaven when I see thee, Dulcinea,
And thy name is like a prayer An angel whispers...
If I reach out to thee, Do not tremble and shrink
From the touch of my hand on thy hair.
Let my fingers but see Thou art warm and alive,
And no phantom to fade in the air.
I have sought thee, sung thee, Dreamed thee, Dulcinea!
Now I've found thee, And the world shall know thy glory,
Isn't it amazing when we as mere mortals can see with the eyes of God and see His Bride as pure and holy as He says She is and can actually reach out and touch Her? She is real, she is pure, She is spotless...not because She tries to be...but because He says She is.
In the story of Man of LaMancha, Aldonza finds that she desperately wants to be Dulcinea...and because Her Lord and Master sees her as a pure and beautiful woman, deserving of his love and devotion...she can eventually, with his help, see herself as such and somehow...miraculously...become that woman.
The Church of Jesus Christ is much the same, don't you think? As we hear in our spirits more and more how He sees Her...we can believe more and more...and sometimes, if we are very fortunate...even see Her with our own eyes and touch Her with our own hands...That pure and spotless Bride worthy of the Lamb.