Opening Statement



Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas in Cuba 8: Padre Nuestro!

Complete Story @ Here!


December 25th 1996

It is the mystery of faith with a Spanish twist. The padre looks up from preparing the chalice. He clears his throat, “Este es el misterio de nuestra fe.”


A murmur sweeps through the Cuban parishioners, “Anunciamos tu muerte, proclamamos tu resurrecion. Ven, Senor Jesus.”


Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. I repeat the words to myself, touched by the beauty, the hope, of their Spanish translation.


“It is the Padre Nuestro,” Matilde whispers, “ How do you say it? The Our Father?”


“Padre nuestro, que estas en la cielo/Our father who art in heaven,” The chicos bend their heads in prayer. I feel her gently reaching for my hand.


“...santificado sea tu Nombre/hallowed be thy name...” My thoughts drift back to my first visit here; a school trip, an empty church, in 1992.....


“...venga a nosostros tu reino/thy kingdom come...” I remember all the many efforts to reach out, to help the Cuban Schools, for the past 5 years.......


“...hagase tu voluntad/thy will be done...” Often a futile task, lost in the everyday shuffle of life. No easy answers, in Canada or here, no matter what we do.......



“...en la tierra como en la cielo/on earth as it is in heaven...” Mati catches my eye and smiles. Hmmmm. Can she read my mind? Yes, of course, we met on the project!


“...danos hoy nuestro pan de cada dia/ give us this day our daily bread...”

It’s all relative, I suppose. Mati, her family, her friends -they have so little, there’s so little they can do.....


“...perdona nuestras ofensas/ and forgive us our trespasses...” Then again, half the time I’m lost. I look at her standing beside me, at the police by the door. Being together, especially here, she is in so much danger. A Cubana, with an foreigner; amor prohibido -they won't like that. I wish I knew what to do. I can get back on my plane and fly home, but her?

“...como tambien nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden/ as we forgive those who trespass against us...” 


A siren blast! Whistles.The police are blocking the church door! I can see more of them coming in. A nervous murmur ripples through the church. Good God its hard not to feel hate!


“...no nos dejers caer en la tentacion/and lead us not into temptation...”


“No no!” Mati gasps, “Don’t worry! There are foreigners here. They won’t do anything -yet!”

Ho boy! God help us! Show us a way! “...y libranos del mal/but deliver us from evil.”

“For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever......”



To be continued .......

SERIES: Part 1 @  Here! Part 2 @ Here!  Part 3 @ Here! Part 4 @ Here! Part 5 @ Here! Part 6 @ Here! Part 7 @ Here! Part 8 Here! Part 9 @ Here! Part 10 @ Here! Part 11 @ Here! Part 12 @ Here! Post Script @ Here!

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