Never Lose Faith (Blanca Salva)
I want my daughters and all women to never lose faith. A woman I know told me about an argument with her mother regarding her lack of respect to their Catholic faith. The daughter was adamant that her mother couldn’t understand her questioning their faith. In the midst of this discussion, her mother said Yo se lo que es a dudar su fe, I know what it is to struggle with faith because I lived it. Her mother began to tell her that when she was 17 years old her parents made her go to convent because she wanted to go to college but in her days girls were to get married and start a family but since there were no suitors that were acceptable to her parents they decided to send her to a convent. Unfortunately that convent was in Cuba, world renowned and highly respected, an unbeknownst to the world, it was also Battista’s private torture castle. That meant that she would have to leave her family, her isla bonita and friends behind and go to new country where there was no one there that she knew but because she was a faithful child to her parents and faithful to her church she listened and left
Unfortunately she was sent to convent that had very questionable things going on while she was at the convent all of her letters to and from her family were taken she was told that she had to obey your every command that her mother Superior made to her.
Every day she would say her prayers in Spanish the Our Father and the Hail Marys. Every day she would be punished whipped with sticks or olive branches. Every day that she didn’t eat the three pound loaf of bread with the large bowl of soup she would be whipped and punished and starved and not given food for the entire day. Every time she question why a soldier would walk in with these young women some very young some small children some pregnant and she would hear their screams and question why are these children screaming and crying and why don’t we ever see them? She would be punished. There were many a nights that she spent on a cold cement slab floor with nothing on, no blanket, no lights, nothing to keep her warm but the memories of her home and her family. There were many times where she was made to scrub the floors with just a small toothbrush until her knuckles bled and many many times she had to kneel on grains of rice with her hands above her head up to the sky asking God for forgiveness for hours on end until her knees bled and the rice beneath her knees turn red from her blood. This continues for years and for years she felt she was losing herself getting weaker and weaker by the moment but she kept on praying she kept on believing that God has a purpose for her and she would not allow these individuals to take her love of God away. She felt very sick and asked the mother Superior if she could be seen by a doctor but because she was a female and a nun she was not allowed to be examined by any man for any reason so she was punished because they said if she had enough faith she would be cured they made her work with leprosy outcasts, with the poorest of the poor and she enjoyed it because she knew what it felt like to be punished to feel alone hungry cold and unwanted. And there amongst these people, she felt God’s love and her faith strength.
She never gave up believing in God or her faith. One day her brother who’d been away at war came home and asked his parents about his sister, they told him how they sent her to the convent but hadn’t heard or seen or received any news of her since she left. He petitioned the Cuban government to visit his. Sister but he was only allowed to see her from outside the convent gates. He didn’t recognize the frail woman walking towards the gate, his eyes welded up with tears when he realized it was his baby sister, how she aged, how thin and frail she looked almost like a skeleton, he fought back tears but the tears burned his cheeks as she revealed the torturous life she has endured, how she had been sick for over a year and was not allowed to see a doctor. Her brother got her out of the convent and as they left she told him how she still kept herself obedient and true to her faith, she forgave her torturers because it gave her poder/strength, y un fe eternal and someday if she ever married and had children she will tell them her story, if they ever doubted what it means to have Faith.