Another Yule Log

This very creamy yule log is not the one that puts us to sleep at the end of New Year’s Eve, but the one that resembles us when, rough-hewn, it burns in the fire of the Spirit to change the face of the world. The writer Henri Quantin sees in the “spirituality of the log” of the Dominican brother Jean-Thomas de Beauregard a happy and heart-warming excursion into the Christmas sky.

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What an idea to serve a new yule log right after Christmas! Let our livers rest, let us digest the frozen log. Rest assured — unless we have to worry about our digestive siesta — the log in question contains neither cream nor milk chocolate. It would rather tend to burn calories, even to burn us all. Burning and not frozen, this log has its place in front of the newborn who would soon reveal the meaning of his birth through incendiary words: “I have come to light a fire on the earth” (Lk, 12, 49).

The fire, it burns!

Having become incapable of believing that a man who shouts “fire” can announce good news, we have covered our souls with fireproof outfits: we prefer the icy log to Christ, heartburn to the burning of the heart. This is why, in a little book as exciting as it is rigorous, The Spirituality of the Log (Deer), Brother Jean-Thomas de Beauregard admonishes us to give up all our firewalls: “The truth, and this is what explains why our Church in Europe oscillates between lukewarmness and icy cold, is that we are afraid of fire of the Spirit, because fire burns…”

Inert, badly trimmed, the log looks like us. But its destiny is to be burned, burned.

It is the “trial by fire” that we refuse, both in the war that we are supposed to lead against sin and in our mission of evangelization of the world. So we should rejoice and not be upset when the Dominican brother calls us a log: “Against this attitude, the Holy Spirit suggests that we adopt the spirituality of the log. The log… that piece of wood waiting to be thrown into the fire. Inert, badly trimmed, the log looks like us. But its destiny is to be burned, burned. »

The happy log

However painful it may seem, this vocation is well worth that of the frozen log. Moreover, the fear of burning is the very type of the false reason of lukewarmness. Brother Jean-Thomas takes us from above, with an amusing nod to Camus: “You have to imagine a happy yule log. ” Wink ? Thumbs down, rather, because the one Camus imagines happy is Sisyphus, pushing his absurd rock to the top of an absurd hill for an absurd eternity. On the contrary, the happy log is “on an excursion to Heaven” and Brother Jean-Thomas is a sure guide who in turn recalls the objective (our divinization as children of God) and indicates the necessary equipment (grace , which he distinguishes from all his caricatures with great pedagogy). Lucid about his teammates, he also ensures follow-up after the expedition, when the stimulating climb towards the air of the peaks gives way to the exhausting step by step on the flatness of the sidewalks. In this, it effectively keeps the promises of its subtitle: “the art of setting fire to the earth”.

We will understand, The Spirituality of the logis one of those books that manages to both enlighten us and spur us to action, reminding us that a Christian is only truly alive if he is on fire. The word “fire” deserves much better than designating a dead person.


Another Yule Log