Log-book: May 2004

  Writers with no frontiers Faith at the crossroads of doubt
  Being the heir of somebody  Lent sermons
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 




The Bible

Special Edition

Writers with no frontiers

I was asked to lead a debate in a Parisian theatre after the screening of a film on Palestine. On the invitation of the Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, a delegation of writers went to Palestine. They came from eight countries and four continents.
With emotion, I discovered this wonderful film describing the trip to Ramallah and Gaza of these writers without frontiers.

insoutenable The scene of the olive trees upset me. In the peaceful silence of an olive tree field suddenly appeared an armed Israeli soldier with a chain saw in his hands. Protected by two soldiers in arms, he started the massacre one by one of the olive trees. He is doing it with no hesitation and showing no signs of being disturbed, as if it was a normal thing to do. 

Sitting down on a slope, a young father is crying. How is it possible for him not to cry when witnessing this unbearable scene: " Those are my olive trees, they are the only thing I have left".

This field of olive trees was his only resource to feed his family. When they are using force against the olive trees, they are using force against this man. Every strident sound from the chain saw was hurting him.
His field of olive trees had to be replaced by a dividing "wall'', this wall of shame that is imprisoning the Palestinian nation.







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Faith at the crossroads of doubt
La foi au prix du doute An old friend came to share a meal and his friendship with me. By profession, he is in daily contact with people that are in a precarious situation.
I remembered him as being happy to believe and be involved in his parish and with his family. During our meeting, he confided his doubts to me.

" The Church as an institution has become of no importance in my life. The religious rites seem to have died. The religious language has no connotation to me anymore. Real life is elsewhere. I have ceased to practice as many more have done and still do. Furthermore, I am used to discussion groups by my profession and I feel that I am a stranger in celebrations where there is no exchange.".
Like many others, I am part of this deep movement towards the personalization of beliefs. This massive liberation of individuals from the institutions is not without questioning the way the churches operate.
Faith does not benefit anymore from the security of an institution. Faith has no temple where it can be preserved.

Faith has started on a trip. The disciples of Jesus are on the roads. They have become travellers.  La foi est voyage



Being the heir of somebody

Jacques Gaillet et Albert Jacquard On the sixth level of an apartment building, here I was in the very small office of Albert Jacquard. A television crew was there to make a film on our deceased friend: Léon Schwartzenberg. 

We used to get together the three of us because we were co-chairmen of an association for the rights of foreigners.
While calling upon our souvenirs of Léon in front of the camera, Albert and I had the feeling that the three of us were still here.
Without seeing the time pass, we were narrating the risky actions we had taken together.

Léon was afraid of nothing. He had the habit of taking a stand at moments where nobody else dared to do so. Not being able to support injustice, he had the courage to defy it and call others to disobedience. Undoubtedly, he was the most subversive of us three. 

Léon Schwartzenberg

We became aware of all that we had received from our common friend
We are the result of this tie, the heir of somebody, the result of all the meetings we have had.




Lent sermons

Jésus les laisse à leur liberté For this traditional preaching, I was invited by the Protestants to Neuchâtel in Switzerland and by the Catholics to Würzburg in Bavaria. Their churches were richly decorated. But it was because their churches were full of people that I had this impression. 

Addressing to people unknown to me is a difficult exercise for me. All the more so that I will not have any other occasion to see them again. I had to speak to an audience that will not have the possibility to ask any questions. It is the usual rule for lent sermons.
I took the time to look at their faces and to listen the silence of the assembly. I was certain that the people in front of me are called to freedom.
In the Gospel, when Jesus was healing, helping the men and women coming to see him to stand up again, often he let them go with this simple word: " Go… ". He left them to their freedom. And the people went back wherever they wanted to go.
Jesus did not convert them, did not enrol them, did not invite them to visit him again. He just said: " Go… ".

As for me, I spread the Good Word, letting the people go back wherever they want to. 

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