Saturday, May 10, 2008

Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre

Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre is the patroness of Cuba. Many have prayed to her, and many still do for the liberation of the small Caribbean island just ninety miles from the Florida coast. She has a place near and dear to my heart. Perhaps she should also be the patron saint of "those who flee" or those "who leave behind." I was reading a book last night covering the poetry of Thomas Merton when I came across one specific composition that reminded me of both her and of our times.

To The Immaculate Virgin, On A Winter's Night

Lady, the night is falling and the dark
Steals all the blood from the scarred west.
The stars come out and freeze my heart
With drops of untouchable music, frail as ice
And bitter as the new year's cross.

Where in the world has any voice
Prayed to you, Lady, for the peace that's in your power?
In a day of blood and many beatings
I see the governments rise up, behind the steel horizon,
And take their weapons and begin to kill.

Where in the world has any city trusted you?
Out where the soldiers camp the guns begin to thump
And another winter time comes down
To seal our years in ice.
The last train cries out
And runs in terror from this farmer's valley
Where all the little birds are dead.

The roads are white, the fields are mute
There are no voices in the wood
And trees make gallows up against the sharp-eyed stars.
Oh where will Christ be killed again
In the land of these dead men?

Lady, the night has got us by the heart
And the whole world is tumbling down.
Words turn to ice in my dry throat
Praying for a land without prayer,

Walking to you on water all winter
In a year that wants more war.

Our Lady of Charity was declared the patroness of Cuba by Pope Benedict XV in 1916.


Adrienne said...

powerful poem...

Shirley said...

I agree, a powerful poem. Seems that the dark night of the soul can partain to countries too.