Saturday, May 31, 2003
Saturday 31st May : feast of Mary Queen of the universe
Facing Evian, the Leman lake is ablaze tonight…
Mary : Queen of hearts, queen of WWW and internauts the world over…
I love Mary, the woman of the little oft homeless people
the mother of Yeschoua…
Mary, a woman ever on the move… along uncharted routes…
« Mary arose… and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda
she greeted her cousin Elisabeth and the babes leaped in their wombs… »
on the move, towards Bethlehem… Mary… nine months pregnant,
riding the mountain pathways on the back of a donkey
whilst Joseph, the beloved carpenter husband walks beside
on the move, outside the city walls, towards a sheltering cave
in the rough shepherds’ and the compassionate animals’ company…
Mary gives birth… the babe lies in a straw filled crib…
wise men from the East come along and pass by… awe struck !
on the move towards Egypt… fleeing a mighty emperor’s jalousy
on the move back to Nazareth… and the Carpenter’s workshop !
on the move towards Jerusalem’s temple and Jesus disappearance
going his own exploring way… the search, the anguish,
the finding… the confrontation : parents and an adolescent in crisis…
on the move again heading for home …
on the move with her adult son preacher of God’s Good News
along the highways and byways…
no fix abode… meeting uncouth fishermen… lepers… rebels
tax collectors… little children too…
on the move to a wedding where wine fails and Mary acts…
rebuked, she gently persuades her son to help… never mind…
and Oh! ! how he does help… wine in abundance for the evening
and the following night and more…
on the move… towards Her condemned Son’s execution place
«on a hill far away… stood an old rugged cross »…
Jesus’ crime : he loved little people and told the truth to the mighty ones…
on the move again with John the beloved… he is her son now
and she, his mother, dixit Jesus with his last breath…
31st May 2003
Mary on the move again towards Geneva, Annecy,
Lausanne, facing Evian dubious summit, joining the thousands
on the lake shores… demanding a world of peace and justice…
Mary sings as of old in pregnant Elisabeth’s company :
" … he hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered
the proud in the imagination of their hearts
he hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted the lowly
he hath filled the hungry with good things
and the rich he hath sent empty away..."
(Luke 1 :46-54)
Mary’s song feeds the blazing Leman flames, at Ouchy… tonight...
Friday, May 30, 2003
Prayer before my little planet
Yeschoua : see our reality, listen to your mournful people’s plea !
Algeria, earthquakes after earthquakes
Lightly built matchboxes crumbling, killing the poor
Palestine : people on both sides of the recently built
fence of shame fearing for their lives as they go hunting for
a piece of bread and a glass of water
Irak, no safety, no promised freedom ! « there was more security under
the tyrant Sadam Hussein » one hears people say …
fuel not available for the Irakians, even those living near the petrol wells
In our beloved South Africa, back to the monstrous necklacing
of murderers, thieves and rapists… death by fire !
French Evian, in a luxurious setting and unimaginable security protection
8 heads of rich countries meet to discuss « poverty, AIDS and other things… »
to hasten to... other things…
Geneva and Lausanne, thousands peacefully marching in the streets
facing G8 across the Leman lake, chanting : « another world is possible… »
which other world ? when and how do we start building ?
well, just put out your feelers : don’t you feel the grassroots stirring ?
I do ! don’t you see the bread rising ? I do… all around me I meet
builders of this new world, driven by Jesus strength and love
constructing from « down up » : the Kingdom of our loving God…
The treetops fall but grassroots grow…
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Jésus disappeared, it is said, from the scene of « La Comédie humaine »
and his friends kept looking for him… fearful and oh! so timid!
outside... whilst, from all eternity, he lived in their very soul
he lives in our very soul…
the driving force, the burning love…
earth centered passion and people bound drive
to build the world of his primal vision
an earth where it feels good to live and daily die…
knowing our fickleness, the risen Jesus sings to us his never ending promise :
« Look at the birds! They do not sow, or reap, or store away in barns,
yet your heavenly father feeds them…
are you not much more valuable then they? »
I have to proclaim this wonderful news, it is so urgent...
and live by it…
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Fear and trembling… but WHY ?
It is amazing : this cloud of fear in Lausanne beautiful sky
amazing : the pedestrians’ « trembling knees » at the thought
of what could happen, of what is bound to happen, namely : violence…
grassroot people, bewildered, looking like mice pursued by a hungry cat !
anti-globalization protesters : mostly young people though not only…why not ?
barbed-wire barricades, shop windows for once veiled with wood…
armed police everywhere… looking so inexperienced and friendly…
up to 300,000 demonstrators are expected to peacefully protest
and march along the streets of this beautiful little town … so clean and neat !
In my heart I remember other marches and picketing and protesting, singing
"People, people who need people are the happiest people in the world…"
and there was little or no fear … because we knew each other and walked
hand in hand… may be this is nostalgia of a beautiful struggle for justice…
in South Africa … why not ? why not today in Lausanne and Geneva and Evian?
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Happy to complete yesterday’s message :
In page 28 of the Lausanne daily « 24 heures », I happily read what wasn’t said
during last evening Radio Suisse Romande Forum, namely :
that the bishops draw the attention to the following Gospel words :
« The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common ;
they sold their goods and possessions and shared out the proceeds among themselves
according to what each one needed ». (Ac 2_44-45)
Wouldn’t that sharing method salvage our worldwide crumbling economy ?
Radio suisse romande this evening: debate about G8 summit
bishops from the lemanic region have launched an appeal
on the occasion of the G8 summit in Evian, France. They are asking the anti G8 activists:
" to show discernment in their actions and manifestations… in harmony with their convitions."
Question : which convictions ?
What makes the G8 ministers tick ?
and what makes the anti G8 tick ?
a common denominator ? which ?
« I’ll be on both sides and I’ll be on neither side… »
dixit the bishop, adding just on time the redeeming :
" Man must be in the centre and not the econonomy"
Jesus luminous and direct words :
* to the bishops :
" let your words be yes for yes and no for no, all the rest is evil… " (Mt 5 :37)
* to us who are not happy with the G8 people :
« You cannot serve God and gold » (Mt 6 :23)
Sunday, May 25, 2003
the Gospel: John 15: 9
Jesus said : « As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love …
Through cloud and sunshine
Oh, abide with me.
… the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name…
I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. »
Our beloved Yeshua pleads with us that we love one another…
in hard facts of daily life…
Friday, May 23, 2003
Heaven’s most precious gift : the ethiopian coptic cross
chiselled in iron, worn thin by lips of love, kisses of pain
and the questioning eyes seeking to see beyond the senselessness
of our lives carved in hope and despair, in sin and Oh ! in most
Amazing grace !
A cherished friend gave me that coptic cross… for life said he
I gaze in the night and behold the cross stripped for ever of the crucified
he’s flown over to his father and our father, it is cheerfully said…
yet stays till the ends of times rooted in crucified mankind
as bombs fall and the earth shakes and wounded babies and tenderness starved
people, so many many tenderness hungry people, wander in the starless night
and I, desperately seek as I struggle on the way
what remains of Jesus’ unconditional spirit of Love
buried deep in the coptic cross… begging me to love… even more !
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
The street sweeper, grumpy as ever… but lovingly
smiling each time we meet on the side walk he carefully cleans
lovingly offering … the smile of his birth…
The distinguished lady in her Echallens beautiful private property…
so full of knowledge, culture, travels and life experiences
and a gaze of infinite sadness, giving way, slowly
to the smile of her babyhood
And Oh ! Nadine, sitting so lonely in Palud public Place
half an empty glass of cold tea in her tired hands…
« Hello, Sister, she said, I felt you were coming just as I have
that old feeling when my little dog or Jesus comes around… »
while tears stream down her wounded youthful face…
and, suddenly, the rising smile of her first innocence…
Smiling in pain and hunger, thirst and lives’ sundowns approaching
smiling through tears … wounded love … may be it is Jesus
gazing this very moment at our fragile little planet he so loves …
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Françoise Giroud is buried in "Le Père Lachaise cemetery": may she rest in peace…
As journalist, she was the « golden thread between happenings and thinking…"
Françoise Giroud, clear minded intellectual, could say :
«...if I have a gift, it is the gift of understanding and helping readers to understand ».
«...to remember past things is painful… »
Why then should a fellow journalist, Christine Ockrent, take it upon
herself to remember past things that are not her own ? worse: they are ugly…
Especially if it is a question of "failures and fissures, of snobisms and petty tricks,
of jealousies and anonymous letters ?…».
(370 pages, Fayard) Why ?
« From heaven, you now see things as they really are
May I, some day, behold all things with you,
In hearts’ harmony and resurrected summers… »
(freely translated from Francis Jammes’ poem)
A queen of the night in loving remembrance, dear Françoise :
Monday, May 19, 2003
To vote or not to vote
One man one vote : it is a right and a responsability
in the running of the affairs of the Mother Country :
be it South Africa, be it America, be it Switzerland…
To vote is a quasi routine happening in my beloved
Switzerland, yet… entranched habits have a long life !
News ideas are proposed, petitions duly collected, reforms… subjected to people’s vote…
This time : 49% participation : not bad… yet … NO NO NO... no change… not now …
The results ? Forget it… says a friend, it will be after as it was before… no change… Why?
Says Pascal Sciarini in Lausanne daily 24 Heures (p 3):
« There is a well established tradition (in Switzerland) that:
the thinking of the government is the thinking of the people… »
To stand up and be counted for a Cause ? to contest ? to struggle on…
that is rather tiring … and unpopular of course...
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Hamba Kahle Tata Sisulu (farewell ) !
(from Daily Mail and Guardian, 17.05 03)
Hamba Kahle ! Tata Sisilu and thank you !
Walter Sisulu, yet another great man, goes joins the company of the ancestors.
He was born on May 18th, 1912 in Engcobo, he dies in Linden JHB, on May 5th 2003.
Because of his commitment to bring about Justice, he is incarcerated in the Robben
Island Prison, 7 km off the coast from Cape Town. hile in prison Sisulu completes
a BA in art history and anthropology. He is a humble man, he personally overcame
the injustices of the apartheid system and brought a whole society along with him.
He is a Hero amongst Heroes, a Servant of the People…
he is "a giant amongst giants", "his spirit lingers on", "utter selflessness",
"sharp mind and quick thinker", "a child of our struggle"… so say the
people at grassroots and elsewhere… !
Mandela speaks : "His absence has carved a void. A part of me is gone…
in a sense I feel cheated by Walter. If there be another life beyond this
physical world, I would have loved to be there first so that I could welcome him… »
our Madiba feels like an orphan… Oliver Tambo, Gowan Mbeki have gone
to rest… and now Sisulu…
we feel compassion for Albertina, his wonderful wife, for the family
and for all those who continue the struggle to build a rainbow nation…
Hamba Kahle, dear comrade Sisulu !
(painted by Janina Barratt)
Friday, May 16, 2003
The morning star is rising upon a war torn world
and a bread famished people
Morning prayer :
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me;
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be
Peace : when I share a piece of bread, just for today
And to-morrow… like Jesus did and taught
When we break bread together on our knees
With our face to the rising sun…
Then we give peace a chance …
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Nothing is ever chance only…
To visit my French learners’ families in their modest homes
To feel and to perceive the mixture of chinese culture
irakian, turkish, serbe, chilian cultures
To behold children’s faces beam with pleasure and
To meet the parents’ most welcoming smile
To drink cups after cups of green tea
Orange drinks with Irakians and cokes with Chilians
To listen and listen to the refugees’ and exiles’ woes and pleas and
Fears of negative decisions from the authorities, to sense their anguish
at the thought of deportation … or of loved ones killed at home…
To share all that and more…
And then to say good-bye and « till we meet again »
To depart with a smile and somewhat heavy, lonely heart…
To stroll down the road to the buss stop again …
When lo and behold in « La Place St François », that tall silhouette
Calming passing through hundreds of people milling around
A Friend’s apparition… the whole Place is lit up and so is my heart
He goes to his job as I go to mine and he won’t see me nor greet...
yet I feel the blessedness of our souls’ meeting in a flash
and a breath of new Life and Strength and Love…
A feeling, ever so dim and feeble, that distant Thabor is quite near…
All is grace if I but let it be…
Jesus is part and parcel of today’s social reality :
a structured and systematized society : a secure, protective jail
for man, who becomes his own unhappy jailkeeper… people begin
to love their chains in their agonizing, freedom starved hearts…
What Yeschoua called good : a land that is a home for everyman,
is today, bad and branded as potential terrorism, the dangerous anti G8 utopians…
what He called sin, the golden calf, is today the driving force in too
many Governors’ head and heart : capital intensive economy !
But Jesus spirit lives on and challenges the most entranched mentalities :
in the gaze of people in search of work and bread and love
in the life giving touch of a hand to the tenderness famished passer-by,
in the pub-waiter^s goodness, near the « Palais Wilson », Geneva, who gives me
a piece of bread with my « esspresso » as I wait for the meeting to begin in the IUED…
in the thousand and thousand workers’ honesty … and humble endurance…
in a journalist’s pen, painstakingly searching for the truth
in a world of half truths, and crass untruth,
to write, report, analyse, edit and publish !…
Oh ! yes, Jesus is alive in our social reality today … he is born day after day,
put to death… and rising… in me, if I let Him, and in us…
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
To be robbed is expensive…
Melanie, little old lady, leaning on a stick, fragile,
rucksack on her back, carefully climbs on to the train…
when in a flash all is gone : season railway ticket, passport…
precious Postcard, ready money for the month…
all that… and photos of dear ones, and bits of paper…
gone with the wind ! ! !
a million thanks to the kind ticket collector
a million thanks to the patient policemen
a million thanks to all the helpful friends…
yet to be robbed remains a rather costly business :
postcard blocking : so many francs ;
new postcard : so many francs ;
railway season ticket replacement: so many francs ;
new passport : so many many francs ;
not even a few pennies available out of the
blocked post account … so much so… Melanie feels like
imploring the thieves : « please wouldn’t you contribute
to the expenses of your theft… ??? »
Mélanie sinks in prayer and her beloved Jesus words hurt her ears
and head and heart : « … for he who has will be given more
and from he who has not even what he has
will be taken away. » (Mc 4 : 25)
« what did the Man of Nazareth want to tell us… ? »
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, 1838
Who didn’t some day fall in love with Oliver Twist, the orphan
so harshly treated by the rich and the powerful of England ?
The cruel old Fagan forces Oliver to empty the wealthy aristocrats’
pockets to fill his own… or else, get a beating !
But somewhere, some day, there is Nancy, and there is love and new
life and new friends for Oliver… and those like him …
2003 in Switzerland
What is happening these days in the « clean » swiss railway stations, in Fribourg,
Lausanne, Geneva and elsewhere ?
Professional healthy adult thieves attack those who haven’t much to offer
but their littleness and their weakness … why trip them up as they struggle
to board the train ? That would make little Oliver weep and fight to help them
get their few pennies back !
Saturday, May 10, 2003
Jesus is alive in the friendship lived out with you, my sister, my brother,
my friends everywhere, this thoughtful tenderness, thinking of you, caring
for you in your reality, as in my own reality and hardships…
Oh ! I do dearly love you... my heart longing for your happiness ...
« It doesn’t really trouble me… the fact that I love so many people, all lumped together,
at all times… and everywhere… my heart is a boundless public place!
earth bound, people driven… I am the infinitly small in the infinitly great…
my reasoning alone, the master of my heart’s deepest mysteries
blissfully makes for timely weakening… »
(freely translation by Claire Marie, from the
« Puzzle amoureux » page 182, Gilbert Salem)
Oh ! the blessedness that a man should weaken in the face of a brother’s plight !
Today in Lausanne, Pépinet 2, then, in the noon thunder, lightning and storm,
of Yverdon-les-bains… today, as phone calls stunned me with harsh news,
and others phone calls with more humane news… lights and shadows
alternated as the hours dragged onward towards darkness…
I finally reached to our Beloved Yeschoua in prayer, He who knows
and loves all those swarming round and round in our heart’s public place…
the infinitely great in the infinitly small…
keep on walking along the beach… we’ll meet him waiting for us with fish there …
and a glass of pure white wine…
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Read today in page one of the Lausanne Daily "24 heures" :
Just take a look : Pray for George Bush, the « saint »…
On the national Day of prayer, prayer breakfast and George prays :
… « may God grant us wisdom, justice and humility »…
the same day, in the evening, clothed in military uniform, G.W. Bush
proclaims the end of the war in Irak : « may God continue to bless America
and long life to liberated Irak … »
Jésus is simply ingored, worse still, he is held prisonner
of the widely proclaimed untruth …
Jesus hungers and thirsts even today in the USA and over the world :
"I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink;
I was a stranger and you and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me;
sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me..." (Mt 25: 35-40)
No, the God of Jesus is not the God of George Bush in prayer...
it is urgent to proclaim it, too
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
To morrow : fifty eight years since the 8th May 1945
The war started with Poland’s invasion by the Wehrmacht on September 1st 1939
and it ended on May 8th 1945…
So many dead ! 40 million men, women, children… may be more …so many tears…
Our grandmothers and grandfathers remember… to tell the stories…
At dawn of June 6th, the Allied, sailors, soldiers and airmen by the thousands
crossed the English Channel, their destination, the beaches of Normandy… that
was the beginning of the last bloody battle…
On May 8th, Germany capitulated, and the patient processus of truth, reconciliation
and peace began… and continues even today….
Then the entire world discovered the horror of concentration camps,
extermination camps, where more than 10 million Jews perished…
Not to forget that which was not revealed concerning that war and all the wars since then…
Not to forget the other worldly gaze in children eyes asking : WHY ? Why me ?
When will we ever learn that peace is possible for people and nations of good will ? Here and now ?
Peace, a fragrant yellow rose bloomed for the first time, it is said, on May 7th 1945…
it was named « The Rose of Peace » to commemorate the end of the war…
it's the most popular rose grown today the world over…
The poet’s gentle muse softly speaks to our peace starved hearts :
« …Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.
Beauty grown sad with its eternity »
W. B. Yeats - "The Rose of Battle"
This peace rose is for you today…with tons of love!