Sunday, March 23, 2008

What Easter Means to Cubans

The hope of the resurrection is one that profoundly resonates in all Cubans not only on Easter but throughout the year: every kind of resurrection, material and immaterial, secular and spriritual, even the raising of our dead, if that were possible, but certainly the resurrection of our country as a tribute to them and a debt of honor to future generations of Cubans. Because that other resurrection is always present in our thoughts and occupies so great a part of our lives, it may be said, without vainglory, that Christ's Resurrection is more real to us and more necessary than to other Christians.

The more alone we are, the more forsaken our country is, the closer to Christ we are. Every year we reap a bigger crop of betrayals, our allies are fewer and our enemies more numerous and vent on our destruction. But none of that matters, ultimately, because nobody's responsibility for the well-being of our country is equal to ours even if the blame for its destruction is not ours alone. As Christ shouldered the sins of all other men, so must we carry our own cross, and no one shall be prodded to help us. Fifty years we have borne it with faith and hope and so unto the end.

Cuba is the only Christian nation still under the yoke of Communism. Certainly we reject the suggestion that God would think more of us for being Christians or less of Tibetans for being Buddhists. A God sensible to the suffering of all mankind would not make such a distinction. And, indeed, He does not. It makes no difference to Him whether those who suffer are Christians or Buddhists, Cubans or Tibetans. He is with all of us in spirit. But we must all of us work out our own deliverance with the means available to us and in the manner that best conduces to it. Divine Providence is reserved for heaven. On earth, we are the agents of our own redemption.


Last year's Easter meditation:

Pascua de Resurrección, the Feast of the Resurrection, man's triumph over death and the forces of evil, achieved through Christ's death and the temporal triumph of those forces, is one of those eternal mysteries of the faith, better believed than understood. Therein lies perhaps the greatest achievement of Catholic cosmology: the belief that those who are murdered for their faith, Christ Himself or his apostles in all ages, are the real winners and those who nailed them to crosses, kindled the fires of their pyres, frayed and stoned them are the losers. The Catholic Church is the church of martyrs, martyrdom itself being the highest expression of the faith. Defeat as victory; death as life; earthly injustice as the prelude to Divine Providence.

For the last 48 years no people no earth have suffered a greater martyrdom than the people of Cuba. Indeed, throughout our history, the just among us in all generations have fallen prey to the forces of darkness, including our own secular Christ, José Martí, who said that he would be nailed to a cross if it won our people their (earthly) freedom.

So why, if no people have paid a greater price in blood and suffering, have the Cuban people remained in slavery for 5 decades, with no end in sight to their travails? Is this some sign of divine grace? Are we the new Israelites, God's chosen people, chosen, like the Jews, to endure hecatombs and holocausts in time immemorial because we are especially favored by the Father? I hope not. And that is my Easter wish.
April 5, 2007

14 comments:

Fantomas said...

" Cada segundo que pasa estamos mas lejos de ver a una Cuba Libre, el tiempo favorece a los que obstentan el poder"

fantomas March 23, 2007

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Time favors no man.

Fantomas said...

Time favors no man.

You are not figthing a man , you are figthing an idea, a movement, you are figthing the suvival of evil people

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Evil also has an expiration date.

Remember the Soviet Union?

Vana said...

Well I say that expiration date is long due, powerfull post Manuel, Happy Easter to you to all the readers of this blog, and to our long suffering brethen in Cuba and in exile.

Vana said...

BTW Manuel why the silent treatment?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

vana:

I have not been posting at my usual rate this month or responding to many comments because I have been preparing for next week's one-year anniversary of RCAB. Rest assured that I will never forget those like yourself and Agustín who sustained this blog in its early days with your unfailing support and feedback.

Vana said...

Manuel:

I'm ashamed I thought that for some reason or comment of mine you were angry with me, nothing I hate more than silent treatment, I had to break my husband of the habit, I spill the beans I vomit my feelings, thank you for being my friend, and understanding.

Fantomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KillCastro said...

In my musician period,I lived in London for a while and the scarcity of money made entertainment a trifle difficult, so one of my pastimes would be to go to Portobello Road and snoop around any store specially antiques, amazing what you can find in those stores. Just like EL RASTRO in Madrid every thing you touch may be a jewel.
On one particular day I found a bookstore dedicated to mystical subjects and at the time I was into all sorts of wooo-ooo-hooo stuff from astrology to "how the fuck could the pyramids ha been made by men" ( theoretically impossible but yet there they are) so NOTHING is impossible, THAT takes care of Fantomas first comment, now the really interesting stuff , the owner of the store a Jewish man of oh I’d say about 180 comes out to chat with me, I tell you a jewish accent mixed with cockney is NOT the easiest of dialects but we chatted for a while since the store traffic was twixt nil & none. At one point the gentleman asked me where I was from, I said I was from the USA. "Born in the USA?" I said NO I was born in Cuba. His eyes lit up got up from the chair on which he was sitting and asked me to sit on it for a second. I did. He went to the back and dragged his wife out with him, he pointed at me and exclaimed in the MOST self assured way ..." Look, he is from Cuba, the lost tribe"! The wife's face also lit up.
The story took the better part of the day and I returned several times to hear about this "Lost tribe of Israel" of which I knew nothing. To detail his explanations would take volumes, but two or three of his more poignant facts shook me to the core. He knew the Island as well if not better than any Cuban and he had never been there. To some this would sound just the ramblings of an old fool; to me it was almost a religious experience. There’s much to say about this encounter but noone will believe it so... I keep it to close friends and people with VERY open minds. Somehow we have been called the Jews of the Caribbean, why?
We have gone through misery and pain as have the Jewish, there's a very inextricable link between our experience and the Jewish experience.
Lost tribe? It very well could be.
And if we are, our 50 years of pain, will somehow NOT be in vain!

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

charlie:

Perhaps you met the Wandering Jew. Having been on earth from immemorial time, surely he knows all about the Lost Tribes.

Charlie Bravo said...

That was KillCastro, Manuel, the one who met the Wandering Jew in London.... I've met one of his incarnations, too but in another locale, and also in a bookstore... but that's another long story.

KillCastro said...

LOL we have become interchangeable to Mr. T.
Er.. this is KC Mr. T.
Easy way to tell is the ratio of foul language to content.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

charlie & killcastro:

Yes, I'm afraid you are right. My mind needs to conserve space because it's pretty much filled up and I'm afraid to clear the cache for fear everything will go. So I am not surprised that I may have subconsciously melded both of you into one person. The same synthesis may be happening with Val & Henry and such a monster should never be unleashed on the world.