Cuba needs contemplative religious, says Vatican cardinal

.- During a Mass celebrated Friday at the Monastery of St. Teresa of the Discalced Carmelites in Havana, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone called on contemplative nuns to help bring about reconciliation in Cuba through their prayers, because as he said, “Cubans need God.”

In his homily, the Vatican Secretary of State said the Church’s hope for contemplative nuns is “a life transfigured by the profession of the evangelical counsels, which create communion both in the community as well as in the Church and in the world.”

“In fact, the Church and the world hope for their affectionate companionship, with their incessant prayer, in the big and small events both in the universal Church as well as in the specific society in which they live,” Cardinal Bertone continued.  “We especially commend to their prayers the works of evangelization and of the apostolate and those who are charged with carrying them out,” he added.

Cardinal Bertone also reminded the nuns that “your renouncing and your sacrifices should also be transformed into a pleasing offering to the Lord, especially to sustain the numerous pastors, priests and religious, as well as the many lay people who, with unbreakable fidelity to Christ and to his Church, give of themselves generously to those in need, defending the inalienable rights of the person and the dignity that belongs to him as a being created in the image of God.”

He also invited them to collaborate “from the seclusion of the cloister, in the building of an authentic society, often times wounded and stripped of values, deprived of identity, inverted, lacking in faith and far from God.  I earnestly exhort you to be examples, although often misunderstood, of a new humanity.  I encourage you to live your vocation in holiness, in order to be examples, models and inspiration for all Cubans, helping them always to invigorate their profound religious spirit, and at the same time accompany them in their aspirations, joys and sufferings.”

Referring to Cuban political authorities, Cardinal Bertone also called on the nuns to pray “without ceasing that the Lord will enlighten the consciences of those who are responsible for providing a decent life to citizens, restoring peace and justice, promoting solidarity especially with those most in need.  Fervently pray for the fostering of human, ethical and religious values, the absence of which particularly affects young people.”

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