The effectiveness of the small things
Archdiocese of Havana, Havana, 1st. September 2019: Monsignor Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez, archbishop of Havana, is a simple man, a village priest, a friend of farmworkers, housewives, macheteros, mechanics or chauffeurs. One morning a week he goes to a home for the disabled and mentally ill to help bathe and distribute breakfast. One morning a week prays the Rosary, as part of an ancient Marian devotion. He likes to go on a mission where people do not know what a bishop is, so that they learn that God accompanies them before their mother decided not to abort them and that when forgiveness and fraternity are taught, they access that God who he loves and takes care of them, especially if they learn to talk to him as they would a dad.
The word Cardinal comes from the Latin “cardium”, which means “heart.” A Cardinal is then a Catholic whom the Pope welcomes as a member of the Heart of the Church, therefore, of the community that deals with the Holy Father to gather and give effect to the dreams, frustrations, joys and hopes of all the people Christian of the world, so that the Church is the house of all, its strength and backwater, the reason to move forward despite all difficulties: that is, the community that governs the Church with the Pope.
Jesus Christ entrusted the government of the Church to Peter, helped by those very simple fishermen, by the lake of Galilee, two thousand years ago. The Successor of that Fisherman of Galilee has called Mons. Juan de la Caridad, “to help him in the government of the Church, and for the good of the entire Christian Community.”
Monsignor Juan de la Caridad is, in turn, a bishop of a small and poor Church, who makes his way to the streets, in the midst of a difficult reality in the economic, political and religious, where blockages in minds abound, hearts, laws and styles of government, inside and outside an island that has a universal vocation, and that today continues to look for ways to open up to the world and whose citizens are still looking for how to be protagonists of their own personal, family and social life, with quotas of creativity that defy any limit.
In this reality, the Church in Cuba brings together less than 3% of the population at Sunday Mass, although at least half of them confess Catholic or sympathetic to the Catholic. The Church in Cuba does not have colleges, universities, newspapers, broadcasters or welfare centers that help it have a massive social presence. However, it encourages hundreds of small communities in family homes where there are no temples, serves thousands of children and youth in complementary forms of education or thousands of elderly people who need company, food and clothing.
What do these small efforts mean in the face of so many needs? What does the small Christian community mean in the face of the massive advance of animistic religions based on fear, despair, uprooting and fragility, also massive? The Pope has testified that for God and his Church, small is important, even more, it is essential. That is why he chose those simple people of Galilee, that helpless Virgin or that Bishop who almost never laughed in public and brought him to the Vatican from “the end of the world.”
Thank you Lord for the Church that is established in the strength of the small! And for the little-great Bishop Juan de la Caridad, who will now help govern it in its most universal dimension.
Taken from the Cuban Catholic Bishops Conference Web Site