Spiritual books: Our selection for the month of June 2022

Your wound opens to the light, by Francois Vayne

Algiers, Lourdes, Rome, Jerusalem: here is the pilgrimage of the life of a man born in Algeria in 1962. A man of dialogue, who, as a child, went to pray at the tomb of Charles de Foucauld in the desert, because his father, whom he had not known, had left an image of the universal brother, with this sentence on the back: “He will protect you and love you for me. » This story begins with a singular event. His mother, pregnant, unmarried, had decided to stay in the country with her mother and her two sisters. Shortly before independence, the grandmother had helped a Muslim who had just received seven bullets in the back from the OAS. On the morning of independence, the survivor had come knocking at their door, presenting himself as the local leader of the FLN, encouraging them to stay and assuring them of his protection.

The author of the book, now director of communication for the Order of the Holy Sepulcher in the Vatican, and essayist journalist, will remain marked by the fact that a gratuitous gesture, made out of love, can move the lines. This is what he bears witness to through his friendships, notably with the monks of Tibhirine, whom he rubbed shoulders with in this small Church of Algeria, fragile and alive. But also with Muslims, starting with his childhood friends from the streets of Algiers. The work reads like an adventure story, in which the ideal of a prophetic Church is drawn, capable of being reborn through dialogue, charity and simplicity. It is also a lesson in hope, which every wound opens to the light of God. M.-LK
Plunge, €19.

The Witness of the Scriptures. Ode to the Nazarene, by Jean-Michel Hirt

Drawn from the Book of Exodus, the Gospel of Luke and the Koran, three exergues open this brief essay. Three sources that irrigate the life and work of Jean-Michel Hirt, psychoanalyst. It could have been otherwise: at the age of 20 in the early 1970s, this great reader of Nietzsche was surrounded by friends who had settled the question of God. However, already, he must “resolve to the persistence of the Nazarene in his personal life”.

Is it Christ who successively put three women, three loves, on his way? The first was Jewish, the second became a Carmelite, the third, Muslim, shared her life. They introduced it to the infinity of the Scriptures. Testifies to him of the emptiness they dig in us like an underground river, offering the space for an interior life. And as Sylvie Germain suggested when presenting him with the 2022 Writings and Spiritualities Prize, he becomes a bearer of witness, that of an inexhaustible triple heritage. DF
South Acts, €15.

Saint-Exupéry. The spirituality of the desert, by Michel Faucheux

The historian of ideas offers us here a spiritual portrait, as powerful as it is delicate, of the writer-pilot. It all started in the summer of 1917. Before dying, François, Saint-Exupéry’s younger brother, said to him: “Don’t forget to write all that down… When the body comes apart, the essential shows itself. » This death that wounds him also brings him into the world. From now on, “this is what Saint-Exupéry will tackle, notes the author: cross the night and maintain, in times of darkness, the possibility of the Spirit”, this Spirit “which is play and the spirit of childhood”. the “Pilgrim from heaven, has he arrived / At the beacons of God? », wonders Marie, his mother, shortly after the death of her son. It is a secret to which only the King has the key. But one thing is certain: “Saint-Ex” has never given up on mystery. And it can become for everyone, as for Michel Faucheux, “the well-digger of water who waters in a world deserted by God”, and dying of thirst. AV
Salvador, 17 €

Chosen for eternity. Marie-Ange and the little sisters disciples of the Lamb, by Raphaelle Simon

On the heights of Blanc, in the depths of Brenne, Sister Marie-Ange rests in the shade of a cross, with this inscription: “Because I was little, it pleased God to choose me. » And here is deployed in concentrate the mystery of the little sisters disciples of the Lamb, a religious institute in which this woman with Down syndrome led a hidden life in God for 33 years.

Through Marie-Ange’s unique journey (1967-2021), journalist Raphaëlle Simon introduces us to this unique community in the world: sisters with Down’s syndrome and able-bodied sisters united in the same dedication to prayer, under a single adapted rule. to trisomy 21. This disarmingly simple book reminds us that our brothers and sisters, wounded in their intelligence, are ahead of us on the way to spiritual childhood and show us the way to Heaven. You still have to listen to them. AV
Artege, €19.90.

Our Father who art on earth, by Jose Tolentino Mendonca

“There is much worse than even a perverse soul, it is a used soul”, wrote Charles Peguy. Nothing is more terrible, in fact, than satisfaction. Nothing more dangerous than the installation daemon. Portuguese Cardinal José Tolentino Mendonça is acutely aware of this. So he strives, from book to book, to awaken believers asleep in their habits, sclerotic by their certainties. To reactivate in them the taste for adventure and (re) set them on the march towards the living God, he seizes this time on the prayer of prayers: “To immerse oneself in the Our Father is to discover this God who is. And it is also learning to be. » An invigorating dive! AV
First part, 16 €.

Spiritual books: Our selection for the month of June 2022