By becoming independent on January 1, 1804, Haiti, the former French colony of Santo Domingo, acquires a strong symbolic status. First war lost by a European army against insurgents outside Europe for several decades, first successful servile revolt in modern history, first free black republic of the world. Despite its glorious past, our country has never been able to take the road of sustainable development but we have a population that believes in God and is very resilient to the problems of life.
Suffering is part of our history and the very being of the Haitian people.
A suffering that brings the Haitians to identify with the suffering Christ and to develop a particular devotion for the Way of the Cross.
This devotion and faith of the Haitian people have been revived and reinforced after the earthquake of January 12, 2010.There are several ways to discover Haitian man:
The meaning of God: I do not think I exaggerate saying that the Haitian man has an innate sense of God. He naturally believes in Him. His faith or trust in God is amazingly simple and tenacious. Because of his situation, the Haitian man is open and opens spontaneously to the presence of God in his everyday life. If, as Father Yvon Philippini OMI points out, « the proud knows God by heart », the Haitian man, meanwhile, poor and humble, « knows God by heart » (quoted by Godefroy Midy sj (2001) Path of the Poor: God’s Way, in Liaison Bulletin, Pedro Arrupe Center, Vol.VI, No.1, April 2001, p.3). His relationship with God is very emotional and invades or permeates his whole life. He needs Him. He speaks to Him with disconcerting familiarity and spontaneity. God is, for the Haitian man, the God of life, the Life of his life, the God who is « path of the poor » (Godefroy Midy sj, op.cit. take care of the unfortunate: « Be k-pa gen ke, BonDye woo mouch li li. »
The religious meaning: The term « religious » is taken here in its etymological sense: from the Latin verb religare: to connect to. The Haitian man is a connected or connected being: connected to God, to others, to creation, to the world, and especially to oppressed, wounded and suffering humanity. According to the Haitian psychologist Claudine Michel (1995),
« Humans occupy a central cosmic place in Haitian spirituality that is as anthropocentric as humanist … Human connection is the rule of the Haitian vision of the world: there is suppression of individual life stories in favor of a personality collective from which derives the overall energy of the group. Individuals become real only through their interactions with others. « (Educational and Moral Aspects of the Haitian Vodou, Port-au-Prince: Natal, p.36, underlined in the text).
The Haitian man likes to connect the visible and the invisible, the material and the spiritual, the secular and the sacred, etc. He likes to create links. These give him a sense of security in an environment that is rather hostile to him.
The meaning of hope: The Haitian man is a being inhabited by hope. This is, in a way, its basic psychological and spiritual attitude. This is an « active attitude, nourished by courage and strength of soul, which feeds resistance in suffering and tension in the struggle » (Giannino Panna). He hopes « against all hope ». He is able to « hope where there is nothing to hope for » (Jürgen Moltmann (1974), The Man: An Essay of Christian Anthropology, Paris: Le Cerf / Mame, p.135). Hope keeps him on the path of life: Espwa fè viv « , » depi tet pa koupe, gen lespwa mete chapo yon jou « , » Byen mal pa lanmò « . We have the impression that even when the Haitian man walks in the night of suffering, the sun of hope is always raised in his mind and in his heart. He never leaves the path of hope. He lives with hope.
The meaning of patience: The Haitian man has an « inexhaustible capital » of patience. He has a cacapité of waiting which disconcerts. He does not want to hurry: « Twò prese pa fè jou louvri. » He is convinced that with patience one can achieve or accomplish even what may seem impossible: « Avèk pasyans or go wè head / lonbrit / trip foumi. »
The sense of endurance, perseverance: The Haitian man does not try to escape suffering. He supports her, even when she is unbearable. His ability to absorb or assume suffering is simply amazing, amazing. Some people think that « the two aspects of the force, endure and attack », of which the French philosopher Emmanuel Mounier speaks (« The Christian confrontation. » Paris: Seuil, 1945, p.112), the Haitian man does not seem to develop that the first, to endure.
« Ask a Haitian how he is going, he will answer you invariably, with a gentleness and amenity unparalleled: Pa pi bad, yes? » (Francklin Armand, op cit., P.210, underlined in the text),
or else: nap kenbe, yes. The Haitians leave each other saying: Kenbe fè m! Pa lage! Ankouraje!
I am convinced that Haiti can come out of underdevelopment, that the life of Haitians is a witness for the future and that our faith enables us to overcome tremendous hardships and to engage our children and the children of our children, to hope and not in misery and resignation.
What does not kill us makes us stronger. And if we know how to learn from our failures, we can discover our vocation, grow and achieve extraordinary things.
We wish you a lot of courage, stand firm in difficult times, discouragement is not Christian even if we do not see or set foot continue to walk in faith and hope never get tired .Our God yesterday is the same today and tomorrow .God has given us his own only son to save us. Yes, Emmanuel is really with us because without him nothing, nothing in the world can hold even if we do not see it. He is at the center of our lives. Life is a great school where we must study, learn all day. Yes, it is possible with God to do our master in the school of life because God has given us the power to dominate everything without him we can not do anything but with him we can do everything. Nothing is impossible to God.
May peace reign in our heart, our country, our family.
As much as you can go to meet each other. Give him the help he needs. He’s waiting for you to live again. This is the way you can bring the Lord. Breaking down all the barriers to get there. Be strong!
May Christmas bring you the light, the strength and the courage you need to keep going. Be in joy you have price in the eyes of God, in God you are strong. May the year 2019 bring you happiness and joy and allow you to realize all your dreams.
It was not you who chose me; but I have chosen you, and I have made you, that you may go, and bear fruit, and that your fruit may remain, that it may be given to you by the Father in my name. John 15:16
Sister Luvia Joseph mcmaf