Photo: Infobae, retrieved

After hours on queue under the burning sun, an elderly woman gets her turn at the bank. All she’ll get is a single bill that can’t buy a whole egg carton. Mistreated, hungry and thirsty, she’ll get home with barely enough to eat for the night, the journey will end with the sacrifice of her own freedom and perhaps she’ll mourn the death of whatever hope she had left. There’s not a better reminder of Jesus’ suffering on the path to his crucifixion.

Via Crucis happens everyday in this country, specially in the small things.

It’s not that coping has become impossible, or that surviving means suffering, because still, we get by. But we lose tiny bits of sanity while doing so. What felt difficult, yet achievable, is now, for all intents and purposes, like carrying a cross: we face what’s ahead knowing that, after excruciating suffering, falling three times or more, we’ll end the day feeling our spirit was tortured and killed.

What felt difficult, yet achievable, is now, for all intents and purposes, like carrying a cross

We’ve said this many times before, but it’s not stressed enough: there isn’t a single thing that can be done easily in Venezuela. Paying the bills, buying groceries, commuting to work or school, visiting loved ones, finding decent women’s hygiene products, catching a movie, parking your car, going to the bank, getting your venezuelan ID card or passport, going to the doctor’s office, the list is endless. All of those things represent our own chavismo sponsored walk with the cross.

Catholic culture teaches us today is about the remembrance of Jesus’ path and suffering carrying of the cross ‘til resurrection. Many times, while facing the dire reality in front of us, whether realizing we can’t afford the medicine we need or spending 18 hours in a blackout, I’ve found myself asking the very same question Jesus asked.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

I bet I’m not the only one wondering, but even if you’re not alone, it’s very hard not to think about God and one’s beliefs while trying to survive. When will this be over? Why must we go through all of this? When will the suffering end? Has the world forsaken us?

In this country, everybody’s daily struggles fit perfectly into a Via Crucis. A long walk of endurance, falling, getting help, and at the end, if we are lucky, resurrecting to a brand new day.

To me, Holy Week and the stories of Jesus’ ordeal should serve as a way to reflect upon our own suffering, our own paths walked through misery. To remind ourselves that this isn’t normal and awareness shouldn’t be lost amidst the madness. All the hardships willingly placed upon us by this merciless government shouldn’t be minimized. Every station of our personal walks with the cross need to be analyzed, shared and remembered.

I won’t forget. And I hope, when this is over, we’ll get a whole week to commemorate our Venezuelan resurrection, too.

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Head of the Church of Martha Stewart: I bake therefore I am. Táchirense: Almojabana and quesadilla lover, "toche" and "juemadre" user. Pastelitos de queso con bocadillo fanatic and overall gochadas supporter. Also doctor —as in proper MD— and pobresora universitaria too.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Astrid, I was born February, 1940. I started kindergarten September, 1945, just two days after the Japanese surrendered on the foredeck of the USS Missouri. During that brief period of time the world’s population was reduced by at least 60 million people. My point is, as bad as it is in VZ now, it can get much, much worse.

    So, what to do? My Mother used to tell me, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” You are a smart woman. Talk with your friends. Ask the Lord for guidance and, paraphrasing that guy on the Missouri, try to do your duty, as God gives you the light to see that duty.

    I think you know what I am talking about.

    • “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”

      We have such pathetic countries in Latin America because we have been doing the most pathetic choices for decades, choices that will haunt even our grandchildren’s children later on, and then we scream to the skies our hypocrisy, as if we were as sinless as Jesus:

      “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

      And I don’t even blame the ignorant poor masses, I blame the ones who could have done something.

      The question to be doing is this: “My God, my God, why have WE forsaken Venezuela?”
      The answer is inside you.

  2. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    Astrid:

    I am reminded of the old joke,

    Q.”How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”
    A. “None. The light bulb will change itself when it is ready!”

    I am a recovering alcoholic (almost 32 years sober, since college, 1986). While many people told me in those days that I needed to dial it back (or quit drinking altogether), there needed to be a change in me before I was ready to quit drinking. It didn’t matter what anyone else said or did, the truth was that I was not going to quit drinking until I came to the realization that my life was turning to shit. I did, and my life improved DRAMATICALLY. “The light-bulb went on”. I now sponsor other alcoholics. Some successfully. Some not.

    Venezuela is at a similar point. Many people who feel like you (and I) do about Venezuela see the disaster. It is swirling down the cesspool and the prospects don’t look good. The problem is, a good part of Venezuela’s voting public see the swirling, but it doesn’t think it is a problem… yet. And until their mouth gets filled with human filth and their nostrils clogged with rancid toilet paper, and they take that breath in and they fill their lungs with shit, they won’t do a thing about it. ONLY when they reach bottom (a recurring theme with alcoholics) will they open their eyes to the truth. Hopefully, it won’t be too late for them.

    I don’t hold out much hope for Venezuela until the loyal Chavista voters start rioting in the streets and they start spilling THEIR blood. No matter how much they “know” they need to make a positive change in their life, the light won’t come on until they hit bottom. They are going to have to suffer, and some will have to die. The only thing that YOU can do is to not enable them. Tell them the truth and let them figure it out for themselves. Offer an alternative is a must… but it is going to have to be the Chavista who wants to make the change.

    • As long as the government has oil revenue coming in, they won’t hit rock bottom.
      As long as Russia and China keep enabling these idiots with money, equipment, and expertise, they won’t hit rock bottom.

      Sad as it is, we have to wait for the PDVSA to destroy itself first. It is well on the way. But it will go to zero revenue in a couple of years.

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