Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sacrifice empowers others

"At that moment I seemed to wake up -- the memory of my fallen comrades, executed by the firing squads of La Cabana, came into my mind. I thought about Julio and his scorn for life as he defended his belief in freedom and patriotism; I thought about all of those men who marched to the firing squads with a smile on their lips; I thought about the integrity of those martyrs who had died shouting, 'Viva Cuba Libre! Viva Christ the King! Down with communism!' And I was ashamed to feel so frightened. I realized that the only way to honor the memory of those heroes was to behave with their firmness and integrity. My heart rose up to God, and I fervently prayed for him to help me stand up to this brutality, and do what I had to do. I felt that God heard my prayer."

Andrew Hurley, translator, Against All Hope: The Prison Memoirs of Armando Valladares, page 41, narrating his experience in Castro's prison system in Cuba.