Log-book: September 1999
The Dialogue of the Carmeities
In the collegiate garden of Bollène (near Avignon), I was attending a meeting about the Georges Bernanos themes which are expressed in his play "the dialogue of the Carmelites". I was impressed by the magic of the place. Why Bollène? Because 32 nuns were condemned and executed in 1793 by the People's Committee of Orange. It was the period of the French revolution named the"Terror".. The Carmelites of Compiegne in the Bernanos play, like those of Bollène, will have the same fate.
I read back with emotion the Dialogue of the Carmelites. The old Prioress is going to die. This remarkable women, with a strong character, is troubled and full of anguish facing her death. Her death does not look like her life. On the contrary, a young and one of the last novice to be accepted, looking weak and fully afraid, is always wanted to run away from the smallest problem. But at the last moment, she will overcome her fears and she will join her sisters on the gallows. Her death will not compare to her life. It was as if the dramatic death of the Abbess had allowed an heroic death of the novice. The communion of the Saints, the mystery of the grace.
How not to go from the Carmelites of Compiegne to the monks from Thiberine in Algeria?
I cite with emotion the unforgettable words of the Prior of Our Lady
of Atlas covent in his spiritual final will: "If it happens one day,
and it could today, that I am killed in a terrorist attack as this seems
to be spreading now to all foreigners living in Algeria, I would like that
my order, my Church, my family remember that my life was given to God and
to the Algerian country...My life is not worth more than another one but
not less neither..."
Television in Berlin
The "Thema" show was organizing a discussion about the effect
of Viagra. The speakers, were known to have authority in the matter. They
made me understand the behavior of the persons, the role of failure and
desire in people's life. I underlined in my speach, the responsibility of
society which maintains fear, reassures and tends to keep to the pattern
with the danger to make a world with no taste. Consequently men are afraid
of failing, to miss something, to be stuck... Our society provides us of
all kind of drugs to feel well, to face, to succeed. These drugs are often
expensive and not always necessary when people from the third world countries
do not even have the drugs necessary for their survival. Don't delude ourselves.
Fears cannot be overcome from outside, we need to be liberated in our inner
University of Grenada
Meeting in Bavaria
In the very catholic Bavaria a series of meetings and celebrations were carefully organized as a feast and with a lot of joy.
One of the meeting was in Augsburg. Christians belonging to Associations for the defense of foreigners without a permit to stay, described their courageous fights in spite the oppositions and the conflicts. They did not say only what they did for them but what they received from them, a sense of humanity, to be true, the importance of the present time, the confidence in God, a new way of praying... I was full of admiration and spontaneously it came to me the words of Jesus: " I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to have hidden these things to the wise and educated men but revealed them to these little ones..."
It was a feast day for those who came to attend the blessing of the new Abbey of the Premontres. We met together during our military service. Since then, we always have been friends. I was happy to be on his side. The sober beauty of the liturgy was smoothly overtaking our hearts and minds.
At the moment where the new Abbey was taking charge of all his brother monks, I was thinking of the famous prayer of the Father Abbey of the Cistercian order for his monks, his named was Aelred de Rievaulx. He was addressing to Jesus the good shepherd. He was asking nothing for himself but all for his monks:
"You know me Lord: all you gave to me, your servant, I want to give it entirely to them and for their service. I heartily want to spare no trouble on their behalf.
Let it be so, Lord. That my feelings and my talks, my business and my rest, my thoughts and my actions, my successes and my failures, my life and my death, health and sickness, all what I am, I live, I feel, I understand, all that let be given to them, those you have accepted to give to me... You know, sweet Lord, how I love them and that I gave them my heart and all my tenderness is for them. You know, Lord, that I command them, not to harshly dominate them, that I heartily want to be useful to them rather than to exert a domination upon them. Humility pushes me to be submitted to them and to be a friend for them and to be like one of them...
PS: Partenia some figures, 1998