The Broken Palace of God’s Favorites

Por: seminaristas Rafael Cruz Dévora y Fernando Vega Machado

Seminario de La Habana

There are real stories in this life that are harder than we think, stories that breaking the classic charges of beauty and normality can only be understood from the eye of the heart. A wonderful place where every day these stories are lived is the Psychopedagic Center La Edad de Oro, which is located on Primelles street of Cerro municipality, Havana. There the absolute protagonists of each chapter are God’s favorites, those who participate directly in their love in a special way because they are direct heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.
It doesn’t matter how old we keep calling them kids. Nor is the surrounding environment where they live, nor is the infrastructure reality and the number of staff not enough to meet all needs. However, those who are able to penetrate into the depths of the daily stories of love that God is weaving inside that house of dreams, end up being seduced by the special tenderness that is received from these children.
Thus, the palace of the kings of mercy is full of special godmothers, of women who have totally abandoned themselves to the living, real and present God in each of the children of the Golden Age, they are the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Each of the sisters offers her life and availability to the service and well-being of these little ones. In this way, seeds of witness are made for all those who, on some occasions, pass by, but in a very special way for the state workers who in that center carry out their work.
This is a place where the one who has no faith could think of the absence of God, given the different clinical-psychopathological tables that are observed. However, God is and floods every corner of the house. The Lord acts in love, in which children are given, in which they transmit to us, and in which they profess each other. Among the balconies of The Golden Age we have met some who have lived an intense love for Romeo and Juliet, because their disability is not an impediment to giving and accepting themselves in the deepest surrender of the soul, which must never perish prey to sickness. It is in these dear children, of the Divine Spirit, that the sufferings of the crucified Christ are completed (cf. Col 1.24).
The Lord urgently calls us to their assistance when He reminds us, “what my little ones did with them, with me they did” (Mt 25:40). In this Christian response, many join the maternal affection of the Vicentine sisters. We are always accompanied by a priest who, together with Eucharistic offerings, offers his being and his work; it thus becomes the best of the attendees to give breakfast or to bathe. To this donation of service is added every Friday the Archbishop of Havana, who exercises a ministry perhaps uncommon among bishops, but who lays as the best of episcopal teachings, when he becomes a barber, water loader or floor cleaner. With these actions he shows his children that the way to heaven is love. Young people also come often to enrich themselves from this experience and give the children a renewed spirit that ignites hearts and purifies life. For our part, seminarians not only receive the best lesson in theology, but also polish in the crucible of love our vocation of service, and declare at the end of every pastoral care in that place that we are only “useless servants who have done what has touched us” (Lk 17:10).
In this palace of fantasized realism each server becomes what is most needed at all times, either you can be a real barber, a waterer and a butler, a solicitous lazarillo or coachman, a cleaning assistant or the best of the minstrel to liven up the day with children’s songs. In this royal court the prophet shouts to us, “I will give them one heart and put in them a new heart, take the heart of stone from their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh” (Ez 11:19).
Christ resurrects us in experiences like those of the Golden Age, and at the end of the road, when the afternoon is near and we ask him not to go on long, to let us stand by him, that day with fear and trembling we will be examined in love. And surely those little children in whom we have been blessed to sow love will stand by Abraham’s bosom as a happy harvest of those of us who have humbly done what we had to do. Ω

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