De ce îl iubesc pe François de Sales

Pentru ca este patronul/ocrotitorul jurnalistilor. Pe vremea mea, li se zicea „ziaristi” si faceam parte, foarte modest, din lumea lor.

Pentru ca a ajutat cu sfaturile lui multe suflete tulburate, asa ca m-a ajutat si pe mine.

Pentru ca, dupa ce s-a chinuit singur cu gândul ca va fi damnat, a descoperit dragostea Domnului, care stie toate si ne iubeste asa cum suntem.

Pentru ca m-a încurajat sa accept fara suparare si fara sa ma culpabilizez ca nu sunt cine stie ce si deci greselile mele, stiute ori nestiute, nu fac gaura în cer, cum am crezut din pruncie…

Pentru ca a inspirat fondarea Salesienilor lui Don Bosco, educatori de elita. Printre ei, parintele Xavier Thévenot +, teolog moralist, de la care am învatat câte ceva, nu atât prin ce a scris, foarte luminos, ca teologie, cât prin marturia despre felul în care un om înca tânar, bolnav incurabil,  trecut prin experienta durerii la modul cotidian…

Un subiect despre care cei care nu o cunosc (înca) ar face bine:

  1. sa se abtina sa vorbeasca, mai ales daca le trece prin cap sa aprecieze din exterior suferinta cuiva, ori sa dea inutile sfaturi, ori sa „teologiceasca” moralizator despre meritele suferintelor…
  2. sa se pregateasca cât de cât… citind, rugându-se, iubind si primind cu rabdare asprimile si frustrarile vietii de zi cu zi.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "saint de sales"


  • Introduction à la vie dévote (numită Philothea), Lyon, 1608;
  • Traité de l’amour de Dieu (numit Theotimus), Lyon, 1616;
  • Les vrays entretiens spirituels, Annecy, 1629;
  • Les controverses (Défense de l’autorité de l’église, Les Règles de la foi, Les Règles de la foi sont observées dans l’Église Catholique), Annecy, 1672.
  • Lettres (2105 lettres), 1593-1622;
  • Sermons (232 sermons), 1593-1622;
  • Opsucules (313 opuscules), 1580-1622;
  • Toate scrierile indicate mai sus sunt reunite în Oeuvres complètes, 27 vol., Annecy, 1892-1964.
  • Oeuvres, textes présentés et annotés par Andre Ravier avec la collaboration de Roger Devos, Paris, 1969.

Lessons on Prayer

Seven Lessons on Prayer I learned from Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich Stained Glass, Norwich Cathedral. Photo by Ian-S, used by permission.
Julian of Norwich Stained Glass, Norwich Cathedral. Photo by Ian-S, used by permission.

The great medieval mystic Julian of Norwich is renowned for her theological optimism (“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”) as well as for her willingness to color outside the gendered lines (“As truly as God is our father, so too is God our mother”).

She certainly demonstrated a clear contemplative sensibility (“The fullness of joy is to behold God in all”) — so it surprises me that more people do not think of her as a master teacher in the art of Christian prayer.

That may be because she is somewhat overshadowed, in that department, by her contemporary, the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing. But Julian has plenty of solid teaching, in her own right, on how to pray. The other day I was asked to give a talk at a nearby Episcopal Church on the subject of Julian’s teaching on prayer, so it seems to me it’s worth summarizing that talk here on the blog.

What Julian of Norwich taught me about prayer.

  1. God is the ground of our praying. In other words, God is the foundation of all prayer — vocal prayer as well as more meditative or contemplative prayer. Scripture is explicit that “We love because God first loved us,” in a similar way, we pray because God is in our hearts, inspiring us with a longing for prayer, for heaven, and indeed for the heart of God.
  2. Prayer unites the soul with God. Prayer makes the soul like God. In her original middle English text, Julian says that “prayer oneth (ones) the soul with God.” What a lovely and powerful image. Of course, it is the Holy Spirit who makes us one with God, but it is also the Holy Spirit who is the ground of our praying. Prayer is the means by which we recognize the oneness/union that the Holy Spirit has already given to us.
  3. God wants us to be generous in prayer and trust alike. To be honest, I’m still working on this one. I tend to be stingy with prayer — at least with the amount of time I give to prayer — and I’m very stingy with my ability to trust. Julian challenges us here: “Do you truly want union with God? Be generous, give your trusting heart and your praying soul to God, holding nothing back — and watch what happens!”
  4. It is God’s will that we seek God, gladly and merrily. Sure, everyone has bad days, but Julian warns us to keep from turning prayer into a dour duty or grumblesome obligation. Pray like you’re dancing with your beloved, not like you’re filling out your tax forms. And if you do tend to fall into tax-form-face when you pray, well, do something about it!
  5. Pray inwardly, even if it seems to give you no pleasure. It is bringing great benefit, even if you do not perceive it. Pray inwardly, even if you sense nothing, see nothing, even if you think you are achieving nothing. For it is in dryness and emptiness, in sickness and weakness, that our prayer pleases Christ most. See this in the light of #3 and #4 — sure, the ideal is to pray joyfully and generously, but in truth we don’t always pull that often. Yet Julian brings grace even to our messy, botched attempts at prayer. She suggest that when prayer feels the driest or drudgeriest, that’s precisely when the Holy Spirit is more at work in our hearts! Moral of the story: keep praying, no matter how it feels.
  6. In Christ’s eyes, our whole life is a prayer. A Jesus-music band from the 1970s called 2nd Chapter of Acts sang a song called “Make My Life a Prayer to You.” In itself a prayer, I’ve always loved that way of thinking about prayer — and about life. Julian says we don’t even have to ask: in God’s eyes, our life is a prayer. So, the question we must consider: what, exactly, are we praying to God with our life?
  7. The more the soul sees God, the more the soul desires to see God. Our longing comes from this grace. Indeed, The fullness of joy is to behold God in all. The corollary to recognizing that all of life is a prayer is to learn to see God in all of life. And that leads to joy — but it also leads to longing. The more we recognize God in all things, the more we yearn for God. It’s a beautiful, never-ending process: love opening up to greater desire and greater love.
The Showings of Julian of Norwich
The Showings of Julian of Norwich

Read Julian of Norwich for many reasons. Her visions are colorful, earthy, and insightful. She is truly a great mystic. But leavened within her writings is plenty of solid advice about how to deepen your own prayer life. So read Julian in order to learn how to pray.One of my favorite modern language translations of Julian of Norwich is by Mirabai Starr, called The Showings of Julian of Norwich: A New Translation. Another good option is the Halcyon Backhouse translation, Revelations of Divine Love.

Maybe the best way to finish this post is to quote Julian herself, with perhaps her most eloquent and lovely prayer:

God, of your goodness, give me yourself, for you are enough for me. I may ask nothing less that is fully to your worship, and if I do ask anything less, ever shall I be in want. Only in you I have all.


20th August


Bernard of Clairvaux, O. Cist (1090 – August 20, 1153) was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d’Absinthe, about 15 km southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux. 

The Feast Day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux is the 20th. August.

 St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Source: Wikipedia

Saint Bernard, the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy, was one of the most commanding Church leaders in the first half of the twelfth century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of the Cistercian reform. He was born in Fontaines-les-Dijon in 1090 and entered the Abbey of Citeaux in 1112, bringing thirty of his relatives with him, including five of his brothers– his youngest brother and his widowed father followed later. After receiving a monastic formation from St. Stephen Harding, he was sent in 1115 to begin a new monastery near Aube: Clairvaux, the Valley of Light. As a young abbot he published a series of sermons on the Annunciation. These marked him not only as a most gifted spiritual writer but also as the „cithara of Mary,” especially noted for his development of Mary’s mediatorial role.

Bernard’s spiritual writing as well as his extraordinary personal magnetism began to attract many to Clairvaux and the other Cistercian monasteries, leading to many new foundations. He was drawn into the controversy developing between the new monastic movement which he preeminently represented and the established Cluniac order, a branch of the Benedictines. This led to one of his most controversial and most popular works, his Apologia. Bernard’s dynamism soon reached far beyond monastic circles. He was sought as an advisor and mediator by the ruling powers of his age. More than any other he helped to bring about the healing of the papal schism which arose in 1130 with the election of the antipope Anacletus II. It cost Bernard eight years of laborious travel and skillful mediation. At the same time he labored for peace and reconciliation between England and France and among many lesser nobles. His influence mounted when his spiritual son was elected pope in 1145. At Eugene III’s command he preached the Second Crusade and sent vast armies on the road toward Jerusalem. In his last years he rose from his sickbed and went into the Rhineland to defend the Jews against a savage persecution.

Although he suffered from constant physical debility and had to govern a monastery that soon housed several hundred monks and was sending forth groups regularly to begin new monasteries (he personally saw to the establishment of sixty-five of the three hundred Cistercian monasteries founded during his thirty-eight years as abbot), he yet found time to compose many and varied spiritual works that still speak to us today. He laid out a solid foundation for the spiritual life in his works on grace and free will, humility and love. His gifts as a theologian were called upon to respond to the dangerous teachings of the scintillating Peter Abelard, of Gilbert de la Porree and of Arnold of Brescia. His masterpiece, his Sermons on the Song of Songs, was begun in 1136 and was still in composition at the time of his death. With great simplicity and poetic grace Bernard writes of the deepest experiences of the mystical life in ways that became normative for all succeeding writers. For Pope Eugene he wrote Five Books on Consideration, the bedside reading of Pope John XXIII and many other pontiffs through the centuries.

Bernard died at Clairvaux on 20 August 1153. He was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. Pope Pius VII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1830.


“Song of Songs is a mosaic of love poems which has a loosely defined plot. The original text does not include indications for each speaker, but most translations include notes naming the Bride and Groom characters based on the Hebrew pronouns used. Besides the Bride and Groom characters, there is a group of speakers often called the Friends or the Daughters of Jerusalem (1:5). The book is attributed or dedicated to Solomon (1:1), but we don’t have enough evidence to support or deny his authorship. Song of Songs is similar to some Egyptian love poetry of the same era. Song of Songs has a long history of interpretation. Some commentators, seeking the literal sense of the book, have explained it as a celebration of conjugal love in marriage. The traditional Jewish interpretation identifies the Groom as the Lord and the Bride as the people of Israel. Early Christian interpreters understood the Groom as Jesus and the Bride as the Church. Both traditions have also applied interpretations which regard the Bride as an individual believer’s soul. St. Bernard and St. John of the Cross are among the Church’s foremost interpreters of this book. Other passages in the Old and New Testaments compare God’s relationship with his people to a marriage (Isa 54:6; Hos 2:16-20; John 3:29; Rev 21). Therefore Song of Songs has often been read in the allegorical sense, which sees the Groom in the Song as fulfilled in the person of Christ.”  (Mark Giszczak at CNA)

Dumnezeu în genunchi



Afficher l'image d'origine

„Gândul acesta să fie în voi care era şi în Hristos Iisus,

Care, Dumnezeu fiind în chip, n-a socotit o ştirbire a fi El întocmai cu Dumnezeu,

Ci S-a deşertat pe Sine, chip de rob luând, făcându-Se asemenea oamenilor, şi la înfăţişare aflându-Se ca un om,

S-a smerit pe Sine, ascultător făcându-Se până la moarte, şi încă moarte pe cruce.

Pentru aceea, şi Dumnezeu L-a preaînălţat şi I-a dăruit Lui nume, care este mai presus de orice nume;

Ca întru numele lui Iisus tot genunchiul să se plece, al celor cereşti şi al celor pământeşti şi al celor de dedesubt.

Şi să mărturisească toată limba că Domn este Iisus Hristos, întru slava lui Dumnezeu-Tatăl.”

Într-o predică din 1962,  pornind de la o teză susţinută de J.H. Newman, şi anume că „religia e făcută pentru oameni şi este după chipul oamenilor”, Maurice Zundel porneşte de la pasajul faimos din Epistola către Filipeni, cap. 2, 5-11, în care apostolul sintetizează semnificaţia Întrupării. Acest imn, admirabil construit, spune predicatorul, nu s-ar mai scrie azi în aceiaşi termeni. În vremea sf Pavel, sclavia era ceva obişnuit, ca şi puterea absolută a împăraţilor şi regilor. În contrast, în vremea noastră „un întreg complex de experienţe ne împiedică să ne uităm la Dumnezeu ca la un monarh încununat cu glorie împărătească, coborât printre noi ca să fie un sclav asemeni nouă”.

Dar ceea ce sf Paul/Pavel a vrut să exprime ni-l spune mai pe înţelesul nostru un sfânt precum Francisc, pentru care „Sărăcia e Dumnezeu”. [Dixit MZ, eu personal nu sunt extrem de convinsă, pentru că m-am luptat de când mă ştiu şi încă mă mai lupt cu sărăcia, împreună cu atâţia oameni absolut „ne-duhovniceşti”. ]

După Zundel, ceea ce îi face sf. Francisc pe (unii) creştini să priceapă în legătură cu Dumnezeu, este ideea că, pentru a înţelege ceva din căile Lui, trebuie să laşi la o parte orice gând de putere dictatorială şi de slavă vană, precum gloria împăraţilor, regilor şi tiranilor acestui pământ.

Revin la Zundel, şi la pledoaria lui înflăcărată în apărarea unui Dumnzeu care este în exclusivitate iubire, generozitate, dăruire.

„Măreţia lui Dumnezeu nu vine din dominaţie, ci din generozitate. Dacă vedem în Dumnezeu un soi de faraon, de monarh absolut, având asupra noastră o putere despotică ce ne poate oricând strivi; dacă admitem că prin firea noastră îi suntem sclavi… atunci situaţia chiar e disperată! Ce se mai poate face dacă Dumnezeu ia toate hotărârile şi, la urma urmelor, nu suntem altceva decât nişte marionete purtate de capriciile şi de hotărârile arbitrare ale voinţei sale?!”

Cuvinte tari, dar necesare, pentru că spulberă o concepţie greşită a smereniei, a păcatului, şi în ultimă instanţă a dumnezeirii. Isus însuşi nu a vrut să arate altceva, atunci când, la ultima sa cină cu ucenicii, s-a aplecat înaintea lor ca să le spele picioarele.

Dumnezeu în genunchi!

Cum spune Zundel, „acesta e Dumnezeu: în genunchi înaintea unei omeniri care nu pricepe nimic, care urmăreşte cu încăpăţânare copilărească împlinirea unor vise de stăpânire şi de glorie derizorie…”

„Dumnezeu nu dispune de noi ca de nişte obiecte, şi nu ne cere să-I stăm înainte ca nişte cerşetori. El este Cel care se comunică, Cel care se dăruieşte, iar viaţa Lui este toată o comunicare al cărei secret îl dezvăluie Treimea Sfântă, căci Treimea Sfântă asta exprimă, şi nimic altceva!

Dumnezeu nu e un personaj singuratic care se uită în oglindă ca să se admire, care cere de la noi admiraţie şi slugărnicie! Dumnezeu este o familie. Dumnezeu este un soi de societate lăuntrică, spirituală, unică, incomparabilă, în care toate sunt împărtăşite, fiindcă în dumnezeire, Tatăl nu e decât elan înspre Fiu, iar Fiul un elan înspre Tatăl, în unitatea Duhului Sfânt.

Aceasta e formidabila bogăţie a Evangheliei, faptul că ne-a eliberat de un Dumnezeu tiran… pentru a ne călăuzi spre un Dumnezeu care nu e decât o Inimă, un Dumnezeu Iubire care nu vrea să stăpânească nimic, fiindcă Viaţa Sa este Darul veşnicei Lumini şi a veşnicii Iubiri.

Dumnezeu este Dumnezeu pentru că nu are nimic!”

Comprenne qui peut…

Un texte d’Adrienne von Speyr, mystique suisse, 1902-1967

„Le samedi saint, le Seigneur se trouve tout d’abord au milieu des deux extrêmes; d’un côté se trouve l’œuvre du pur amour : la croix, de l’autre côté l’œuvre de la pure justice : l’enfer. Et il voit ce que le Père fait des deux : il voit la synthèse.

Il y a ici une prévenance réciproque de la part du Père et de la part du Fils. La prévenance du Fils consiste en ce qu’il a déposé sa rédemption auprès du Père pour être initié au mystère du Père. Par sa souffrance sur la croix, il a en main la clef de la rédemption; en soi, il pourrait absoudre toutes les âmes tout de suite et tout simplement les conduire au ciel.

Mais cela se ferait sans tenir compte du Père, cela ne se ferait donc pas dans l’unité de l’amour du Père ni à l’intérieur de sa mission. C’est pourquoi il doit se porter à la rencontre de la justice du Père.

Le Père vient à la rencontre du Fils en ne lui montrant pas en premier lieu l’enfer nu, mais la synthèse de l’enfer et de la croix, donc l’effet de l’amour du Fils à l’intérieur de la pure justice. Avant la croix, il n’y avait que l’enfer définitif. Il n’y a de purgatoire que par l’acte rédempteur du Fils. Et le Père montre au Fils qu’il n’est pas sans être influencé par la rédemption, même si cette rédemption demeure provisoirement déposée auprès de lui, le Père.”


Sur Adrienne von Speir, in La Croix, 24.03.16

La Croix  : Les Éditions Johannes Verlag ont entrepris de publier les œuvres d’Adrienne von Speyr en français, pourquoi ?

Julien de Vulpillières : Les Éditions Johannes Verlag ont été fondées en 1947 en Suisse par le P. Hans Urs von Balthasar pour éditer l’œuvre d’Adrienne von Speyr, dont il était le directeur spirituel, ainsi que ses propres écrits. Après soixante-cinq ans de publications en allemand, elles ont souhaité publier cette œuvre en français, en rassemblant et complétant les traductions déjà existantes. C’est un très long travail qui s’annonce.

Quel est le public visé ?

J. de V. : Adrienne von Speyr peut parler à tout le monde. Elle commente l’Écriture et conduit à la méditation. Mais cette lecture peut rebuter parce qu’elle affirme ce qu’elle a à dire avec une certaine autorité et met devant la conversion. Les gens simples n’ont aucun souci avec cela et ils ont un accès immédiat à elle.

En revanche, elle peut mettre mal à l’aise ceux qui prétendent avoir quelque idée arrêtée sur Dieu, l’Écriture, la vie chrétienne, ceux qui reprennent le grand mot des pharisiens : « Nous nous savons… » (voir Jn 9, 24), si bien qu’il n’y a pas de place en eux pour autre chose. Adrienne von Speyr aimait à dire : « Dieu est autrement », toujours au-delà.

Selon le P. Balthasar, le discernement spirituel est un trait caractéristique d’Adrienne von Speyr. En quoi est-elle ignatienne ?

J. de V. : Par la place donnée à Dieu, certainement. Pour saint Ignace, à deux choses équivalentes, on choisira de travailler « à ce qui donne plus grande gloire à Dieu ». Adrienne von Speyr est attentive aussi au « toujours davantage », le« semper magis » ignatien, cette recherche d’une plus grande disponibilité à Dieu tout en étant entièrement présent à ce qu’on fait – elle était médecin, femme mariée, mère de famille, avec un grand sens du concret.

La dimension mystique s’est manifestée très tôt chez elle. À 6 ans, alors qu’elle grandit dans une famille protestante, elle rencontre un homme qui boite et rayonne « une grande pauvreté » et en qui elle a très clairement reconnu, ensuite, saint Ignace.

Quel rapport y a-t-il entre cette dimension mystique et ses écrits ?

J. de V. : Adrienne von Speyr ne parle jamais d’elle-même et reste très discrète sur cet aspect-là. Elle a vécu ses expériences particulières comme un service à une personne donnée et plus généralement à l’Église.

Selon le P. Balthasar, son charisme propre est un charisme de prophétie, c’est-à-dire d’interprétation de l’Écriture. Finalement, seul son commentaire de l’Apocalypse, la révélation confiée à saint Jean dans une vision, traite de la mystique comme telle, comprise comme un service à l’Église.

Jésus est venu pour…

Jésus n’est pas venu pour nous détourner de la vie, de cette vie quotidienne, du travail qui est notre gagne-pain, et du pain que nous mangeons en nous asseyant à la table commune.

Jésus est venu pour que nous ayons la vie et que cette vie soit débordante, pour que sa joie soit en nous et que notre joie soit parfaite.

Il ne s’agit donc pas, pour être un chrétien convaincu et parfait, de se retrancher de la vie, mais au contraire de l’aimer avec passion, de la vivre avec plénitude et d’en faire à chaque pas un chef d’œuvre de lumière et d’amour.

Et bien c’est ce que le Christ a fait toute sa vie !

Toute la vie a été glorifiée, toute la vie a été transfigurée par sa présence et chaque réalité a revêtu une dimension infinie.

Il s’agit donc simplement d’entrer dans ce que nous faisons, de le faire bien, de le faire parfaitement,de le faire joyeusement, de le faire en esprit d’offrande et d’amour, et alors, chacune de nos actions deviendra le foyer d’une éternelle communication et tous nos gestes, et toute notre vie, et toute notre existence et tous les mouvements de notre corps, et toutes les fibres de notre chair deviendront elles-mêmes un sacrement où l’amour de Dieu est vécu et chanté.

                                                                                                 Maurice Zundel

Maurice Zundel (1897-1975), prêtre suisse, mena une vie de prédicateur itinérant en France et à l’étranger. Docteur en philosophie, mystique, poète, liturgiste, il est l’auteur de plusieurs ouvrages.