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Marist life in Cuba

13/10/2010: Cuba

On Saturday 24/09 and Sunday 25/09, the two communities of Cuba held their six months intercommunity meeting at Cienfuegos, in the presence of Brother Hipólito, Provincial. The participants were Brothers Salvador, Efraín, Rodrigo, Héctor, Germán, Carlos and the postulant Mario. We had a special thought for Brothers Jesús Bayo, who was in Spain with his aged parents, and Yoandy González, who was doing his first year of scholasticate in Guatemala. We were very happy to share with Brothers Rodrigo Cuesta and Germán Chávez, freshly arrived on the island; the first coming from Spain where he attended the spirituality course, and the second from Algeria.Marist life in Cuba is part of a much wider universe: the religious life unfolding on the island and which shares some of the same features. It is a religious life without institutions, deeply inserted in the local Churches and with a strong inter-congregational accent.We are at a time when congregations with a charism linked to education are striving to accompany children and youth, discretely and closely, by means of systematic programmes outside the school curriculum, which promote integral growth and Christian maturing: sport, music, theatre, dance, school revision, English workshops, computers, missionary childhood, missions, special days… We seek to make present this same educational charism in the projects of formation of missionaries, teachers, animators, and assessors of youth, social ministry volunteers, catechists.In our journey as religious, we have identified three poles or syntheses of integration which mark our spirituality: the mystical-ascetical, the prophecy-wisdom, the germination-utopia.The first synthesis of integration is the mystical-ascetical. We feel called to discover God who makes himself present to us in daily life by an « open eyes » spirituality; in the daily gestures of faith, solidarity, reconciliation, and others, He shows us his mercy, providence and love. We also endeavour to arrange for ourselves quality times of silence, domestic community eucharists, times of prayer and adoration which we call « closed eyes spirituality ». We aim to balance this experience of God with an asceticism which makes the best of the surprises and the « rough patches » of life and draws from them possibilities to cultivate being at God’s disposal. We try to set aside distress, recurrent complaining, and try to love and embrace reality.Prophecy and wisdom: this is the second synthesis which gives us direction. There are many ways of living prophecy; « remain and stay silent » is one of them. Trying to sow hope starting from something small is also perhaps prophetic. Wisdom invites us to know how to await God’s time, to be tolerant, to persevere, to awaken the sense of good humour.Germination and utopia constitute the lighthouse which guides us in religious life. We are not in a time of harvest but one of sowing; what is progressive, anonymous, small… takes on a special meaning. But nor do we intend any more to succumb to conformism and wait with folded arms, we strive to perceive the practical medium and long term horizon, that is, the next step we can take today. Little steps and a long view. This is how we want to contribute to the construction of the Kingdom.We ask the Lord to help us live the calls of our last General Chapter and to discover new ways of being brother in this Caribbean reality, which is green, boisterous and tropical. The motto chosen by CLAR to inspire the journey of religious challenges us: « Let us listen to God where life is crying out ».Many thanks, my brother, my sister, my friend, for your prayers in favour of this portion of the Church and of the Congregation travelling in the Pearl of the Caribs. And accept our fraternal greetings._______________Br. Carlos Martínez Lavín

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