I am so grateful for this blog posting at a time when the challenges that Dom Christian faced seem to have come a little closer to all of us. Dom Christian’s deep honesty about himself prevents us from seeking some romantic version of our faith in which we become heroes. Like Dietrich Bonhoeffer a generation before he is content simply to be a human being in fellowship with other human beings. Those who are drawn to this story of faith might want to see “Of Gods and Men” a film that tells his story and the story of his community and that of the people among whom they lived with the kind of honesty (and love too) that is displayed in Dom Christian’s prayer here. May we be just a little more worthy to be named as his brothers and sisters today. Let us pray for one another and for all our suffering brethren especially those who have had to flee their homes from the evil actions both of ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria. Let us open our hearts and homes to them in their need.
Our hearts are broken this week by the massacres in Paris over the weekend – and of course those in other parts of the world we hear less about in the western media.
I am thinking and praying hard about this at the moment as I will have to preach about it on Sunday.
I know I will want to be saying things about the need to carry on living; to overcome fear; to live together with our neighbours in this city and world; for solidarity; and something about the very hard things Jesus says about the need to forgive and the duty to pray for and love our enemies.
As I pause and pray and light candles and wrestle with darkness, I go back to this remarkable document written nearly twenty years by Dom Christian de Cherge, Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery in Tibhirine in Algeria, as he lived…
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