Posted by: fvbcdm | March 28, 2012

Feast of Saint Venturino (28 Mar 2012)

I think that by the time I deliver this Catholic Daily Message, our holy father Pope Benedict will have left Cuba for his return to Rome.  And I must confess that as I follow him on this significant trip of his to Mexico and Cuba, I am delighted and amused by some of the things that have been happening on it.  

For one thing, yesterday he told the people of Cuba, who have been enslaved by Communism for half a century, that he prayed for an improvement in their political system so that they can be governed by a system more worthy of human dignity.  Well, that choice of words on the part of the Pope, which were so very true, was like a match held to a firecracker.   One of the Cuban politicians fired back that there will be NO change in Cuba’s political system and that that system is TOTALLY WORTHY of human dignity.  The angry, contentious nature of that response is ample proof of the truth of the Pope’s words.  If there were any real democracy in Cuba, changes would have taken place years ago.  For years now, getting into or out of Cuba has been very difficult and many have risked their lives and actually died in their attempts to leave the Communist dictatorship of that country.  Automobiles are sometimes pulled by horses because there is no gasoline available to the people.  Pharmacies and hospitals often lack the medicines needed for the health of the people because of the mismanagement of the economy by socialism.  Years ago, during one of our cruises in Europe, I was taken from our ship to downtown Saint Petersburg by bus.  (The city was called Leningrad in those sad days.)  Our bus threaded its way through many wooden crates on the docks, waiting to be shipped.  And where were they going?  Havana—Havana—Havana.  Had Fidel Castro not depended upon the support of Communist Russia, Cuban Communism would not have lasted this long, and Cuba would be more free and prosperous as Russia now is.

Then today I read in the Vatican Information Service that after the Pope’s meeting with Raul Castro, the present dictator of Cuba, the two men exchanged gifts.  Pope Benedict gave Castro a copy of Ptolemy’s Geography, indicating the Church’s interest in history and science.  And Castro gave to the Pope a bronze statue of Cuba’s beloved image of Our Lady called Our Lady of Charity of Cobre!  Isn’t it interesting that an atheist gives to a pope an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary?  Please God, that gift of Castro to Benedict XVI might be the beginning of Castro’s return to the faith of his childhood.  I think the whole family were raised Catholics.  

Let us thank God for this missionary voyage of our Pope, and pray that it will greatly benefit those to whom he went to bring the gospel of Our Divine Lord. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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