carnet de route
A celebration for the five Cuban prisoners  
In Québec, La belle province  
Brahim in the country of the human rights  
Returning to Evreux  
A celebration for the five Cuban prisoners  
On the demand of the Cuban Embassy, I accepted with pleasure to preside to a celebration for the Cubans and their families in the Spiritan Chapel. At the foot of the altar, five pictures of our Cuban friends were before us, in the light of a small red candle.  
cinq prisonniers Cubains I know each of these faces and can put a name on each one: Ramon, Gerardo, Antonio, Fernando and René. They are part of my family. Let us recall briefly this incredible story, the story of an injustice. Cuba has been the scene of many attempts perpetrated by terrorist groups, quietly established in Florida. To defend the security of their country, the 5 have been charged to monitor these anti-Cubans groups in Florida. They were informing Cuba of the attempts being prepared against the country. The Cuban authorities have informed the United States on the terrorist acts that were being prepared against Cuba. The United States' answer was not to act against the terrorists but to arrest the five Cubans and to sentence them. They have been in jail for more than 10 years now!
The assembly was listening attentively. In the chorus of the chapel, three young musicians playing the violin, the flute and the piano charmed us. In the front row: the ambassadors of Cuba, Venezuela and Honduras. Letter extracts of our prisoner friends were being read with emotion.
I spoke to the assembly: the five do not and will never support injustice that has been made to their country, their families and to themselves. They have a rebellious dignity that no one can take away. This dignity is their own, despite the 17 months of secrecy and the inhuman treatment that has been inflicted on them and their families.
Having become free men, they have learned to be afraid of no one, nor the prison guards nor the authorities. Because they are free men, they frighten.
hommes libres
haute en page  
In Québec, La belle province  
Québec I am lucky to arrive in this country during the season of autumn where the colours of the trees are enchanting. The weather is set fair. During two days, I am delighted to meet a group of 200 people. A warm assembly, open, in search, who has taken a distance from the institution of the Church.
On the first night, while making contact with the assistance, I realized I should change the content of my talks. In front of me I have people full of experience, who during their lives have been in search, have had initiatives and shown inventiveness. They do not any more follow pedestrian crossings, choosing to make their way, day after day, sometimes with difficulty but following their hearts. Desire to awaken oneself, to be reborn.  
The meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman has reached this assistance: « But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. » John 4,23
Jésus avec la Samaritaine
Jesus speaks to the heart of the human experience. To awake to the deep-rooted dimension of our lives. To understand the inner wealths that every one carries inside himself. I have commented many parables of the Kingdom. The parables reached each and every one of us as we are, awakening desires corresponding to our own experience. Like a music reaches in us with unsuspecting echoes.
The planted word will make its way in the hearts. I do not have to know the results.
haute en page  
Brahim in the country of the human rights  
It was the title of a manuscript that was sent to me. A letter was joined to it: a friend asked me to write a preface to it. Difficult request since it presupposed that I read the manuscript. A rapid glance at the first pages was an invitation for me to pursue the reading and finally I succumbed to the script full of adventures that kept me in suspense.
Brahim is a young Berber, very human, who narrates his life on a day-to-day basis. Nothing stops him. He bounces back after every hardship. With him, no situation lasts very long. Brahim's adventure became mine, ours. If he was afraid of a hold up or he was threatened with deportation for a detention centre, we were also afraid with him. If he was rejected and felt insecurity, we shared his anguish. If he was happy to be loved, we shared his joy. If there was an intervention against his wills that his first child may not come to life, we cried with him because his wound was deep.
travailleur sans papier You have guessed that Brahim has no official papers. It is the source of all his misfortunes. Some time after, on my cell phone, I heard: « It is I, Brahim ». We took an appointment to meet and have a meal together.
Brahim had taken a day off. He was glowing with happiness and was of a great simplicity. It was a pleasure to speak with him. He was proud to announce: « My book will be published soon. » He was encouraged and supported by his editor. Brahim continues to have hope. The future opens up for him. How does he not obtain his papers when he is able to publish a book?  
haute en page  
Returning to Evreux  
For the first time, I accepted to bless a wedding in the diocese of Evreux that I have left almost 14 years ago.
retour au pays
The celebration was held in an old church nested at the bottom of a small hill. A surprise awaited me: the welcoming of the people showing their affection and joy to see me among them again. The women kissed me with emotion. « We follow you » «You are always in our hearts » « Do you remember, you had come to share a meal in our house ».
Some young ones who had grown up said to me: « You have given us baptism, confirmed us. »
« You are still blessing weddings? Would it be possible for you to celebrate our wedding? »
To tell the truth, I did not have a precise souvenir of all these faces and these passed moments. But everyone expected to be recognized without hesitation.
amour est toujours neuf How not be touched by the faithfulness of these people, despite the years! The love, in us, does not grow old: it is always new.
The young bride and groom were a living symbol. For them, love matches with forever, love and fidelity go together. They made me remember a wonderful word from Soljenitsyne :
« The long-lasting love makes a man and a woman blessed beings. »