dimanche 4 février 2018

Comment entendre la parole de Dieu ?


Que serait la foi si Dieu ne s’adressait pas à nous ? Il n’y aurait pas de foi chrétienne si l’initiative ne venait de Dieu. Avec Jésus et le peuple Juif, ce n’est pas l’homme qui cherche à plaire à Dieu, à se le concilier ou à éviter ses fureurs. C’est lui qui a souci de nous, qui est pris aux tripes par nos vies. « Quelle grande nation a des dieux qui s’approchent d'elle comme le Seigneur notre Dieu le fait chaque fois que nous l'appelons ? » (Dt 4, 7) « Ce n'est pas nous qui avons aimé Dieu, c’est lui qui nous a aimés et qui a envoyé son Fils. » (1 Jn 4, 10)
Il importe donc de pouvoir entendre Dieu, de l’entendre pour pouvoir lui répondre. Nous le savons tous, Dieu, cependant, ne parle pas. Il ne parle pas comme nous parlons. Et si les Ecritures le mettent en scène comme un locuteur, chacun sait que l’on ne peut pas prendre leurs récits au premier degré. (Dieu n’appelle pas comme cela est raconté de Samuel ou d’Abraham, par exemple.)
Il est évident que la parole de Dieu ne s’entend pas. Le psaume le dit : « Pas de parole dans ce récit, pas de voix qui s’entende. » (Ps 19, 4) La parole ne s’entend pas, mais elle s’écoute ou se regarde. Il faut être attentif. On ne risque pas d’écouter si l’on est toujours dans le bruit, les décibels ou les activités qui obstruent les sens. Le prologue de la règle de saint Benoît nous invite : « Ecoute mon fils, tends l’oreille de ton cœur. »
Suffira-t-il d’ouvrir les Ecritures ? Ne sont-elles pas la parole de Dieu ? Elles en sont plutôt le support. C’est en les lisant, les étudiant, les méditant, seul ou à plusieurs, toujours en Eglise, que s’élève d’elles une parole dont elles ne sont que la trace. Les Ecritures, pour les Juifs comme pour les chrétiens, ne sont pas une parole dictée. Elles réclament un double travail interprétatif, et du texte et de nos vies. Il convient de les lire comme si elles racontaient nos histoires. C’est bien pour cela qu’elles sont pleines de violence, de rêves, de fantasmes, mais aussi de réalisme, de douceur et de consolation.
Si l’homme est à l’image de Dieu, si ce monde est sa création, alors la trace de son passage s’y trouve aussi. De la société et la vie des hommes, des « signes des temps » et du grand livre de la nature, des joies et des peines, des espoirs et des angoisses s’élèvent une parole de Dieu pour qui voudra bien lire. Par nos vies, sans même parler, nous pouvons dire sa parole. N’est-ce pas ce que nous constatons évidemment dans la vie de certains, pas seulement les saints, mais croyants ou non, chrétiens ou non, qui ouvrent le monde à la vie ?
On pourra ne rien entendre à tout cela. Commet la vie des hommes parlerait-elle de Dieu ? Comment ces Ecritures d’un autre temps parleraient-elles de Dieu ? Entre ceux qui prennent la Bible pour un coup de fil du divin et ceux qui la méprisent comme sornette et superstition, le chemin est étroit. Pour écouter la parole, il faut s’engager. C’est un peu comme avec les nouveau-nés. Vous ne pouvez les comprendre si vous ne vous livrez pas à l’aventure d’une communication qui s’élabore à être pratiquée.
Pour écouter la parole de Dieu, il faut s’engager. Effectivement Dieu ne parle pas. Mais si nous essayons de vivre comme Jésus, de le suivre, alors les Ecritures racontent notre histoire, alors il est la parole que Dieu nous adresse. Jean de la Croix expliquait le silence de Dieu aujourd’hui par le fait que Dieu n’avait plus rien à dire puisqu’il nous avait tout dit en son fils. Pas sûr ! Lorsque ce que l’on a à dire c’est l’amour, il faut toujours le redire. Que seraient nos amours et amitiés si elles ne se disaient pas, ne prenaient le temps de se redire ?
Faire comme Jésus, le suivre, c’est répondre à son appel. Et si nous répondons, c’est qu’il y a une parole, la sienne, qui appelle. C’est en répondant par toute notre vie à l’appel de Dieu à vivre comme son fils que l’on écoute sa parole, non comme un message envoyé par sms ou coup de tonnerre, téléphone de l’au-delà ou ventriloquie divine. Toute la vie, toute vie parle de Dieu pour qui sait, avec et pour les autres, faire de ce qui arrive l’occasion d’une suite du Christ, d’une réponse à son appel à le suivre.

Translation from Jean-François Garneau.
How to hear the word of God?
What would be the point of having faith in God if God did not speak to us? After all would there not be no Christian faith at all if the initiative had not come from God Himself? For with Jesus (as for the Jewish people, by the way) it is not man who seeks to please God, to obtain His favours or to avoid His fury. It is He who cares for us first, who is taken to the guts [miseri-cordia] by our lives. "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? " (Deut 4: 7) "For this is the nature of God's love: That we did not love Him first, but that He loved us first and sent to us his Son as an atoning sacrifice for the sins, in us, that He wanted to redeem..." (1 John 4: 10)
It is therefore important to be able to hear God, to hear Him in order to answer Him. [To pray a God who would not have spoken first, in the hope of tapping into His magical powers, for instance, would be to pray a God that is not the Christian God.] And yet, once all of this is said, we also all know that God, in a way, does not speak at all. He does not speak, at least, in the way that we do. And if the Scriptures cast Him in the guise of a character within the various biblical stories, everyone knows that you can not take those stories to the first degree. (God does not really speak in the way that He is told to have spoken to Samuel or to Abraham, for instance.)
It is obvious that [in the sense at least that fundamentalists attach to the word "hear"] the word of God cannot be heard. The psalm says it best: 1 "The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 AND YET THEY HAVE NO SPEECH AN USE NO WORDS:
NO SOUND IS HEARD FROM THEM..
4 Which does not prevent their voice to reach to the extremities of all the earth,
their words to the ends of all worlds." (Ps 19: 1-4)
The word of God can be listened to, but it cannot be heard or seen, properly speaking. We must therefore pay a special sort of attention to hear it, so to speak. We do not risk of listening to it if we are constantly busy and drowned in noises, decibels or activities that obstruct the senses needed to grasp it. Thus it is with reason that the prologue to the RULE of St. Benedict' invites us to listen in this very special sort of fashion: "Prick up your ears, my son, stretch out the ear of your heart."
Will it suffice then to simply open the Good Book haphazardly and read? Won’t we find there the very word of God? Yet those words are only a support. It is by reading Scriptures, to be sure, by studying them and by meditating on them alone or, preferably still, with others (always as a Church, always as a community of believers) that an unspoken word will start to arise from the words written in Scriptures, and of which those words from Scriptures are nothing but a mere trace. Scriptures, for both Jews and Christians, are not dictated words. They demand a twin labour of interpretation, both of the text itself and of our lives as we are in the process of interpreting them. They should be read as if they were telling us our very own stories. That's why they are full of violence, dreams, fantasies, but also filled with realism, sweetness and consolation.
If man is created, as they say, in the image of God, if this world is His creation, then the trace of His passage is there too. From the society and the lives of men, from the so-called "signs of the times", from the great book of nature, and from the joys and sorrows and the hopes and the anxieties of it all there arise a word, spoken by that ever mysterous entity from within our very depths which we call "our God" for those ready to pay careful attention. In any event, is not what we just described what we repeatedly witness whenever we are struck with the lives of those who, saints or not, Christians or not, suddenly manage to inspire us as if they had heard something we had not, and thus opened to us new paths for our lives to be lived?
One can turn a deaf hear to all that. How can our current lives attest in any way to the presence of a thing called God? How could scriptures from a bygone age still speak to us of something so absolutely relevant for our time that we might as well call them the very voice of God? Between those who take the Bible as a litteral phone call from heaven and those who despise it as mere nonsense and superstition, the path is narrow. It is yet the one we need to take if we want to listen to His word. It's a bit like with newborns. You won’t be able to understand them unless you engage with them in the adventure of a communication which will only start to make sense the minute you start practising it [something which Wittgenstein would call a language game].
To listen to the word of God, it is necessary to commit oneself to that language game that is prayerful meditation. Indeed, God does not speak. But if we try to live like Jesus and to "follow" Him, then Scriptures start to tell us our own stories, and He becomes the very word that God speaks to us. John of the Cross explained the silence of God today by the fact that God had nothing more to say since He had told us everything in His Son. I’m not sure at all that I agree with that! When what we have to say to one another is the love we have for each other, we must always be ready to say it again, and again, and again. What would be our loves and friendships if they did not feel the need tell themselves anew, again and again, and sort of lovers of friends would we be if we did not take the time it takes to tell our grateful loves for the very existence of each other time and again?
To do as Jesus did and to follow Him, this is to answer his call. And if we answer that call, that means that there has been a word spoken to us, that call, the very word that is calling on us to follow it. It is by answering that call to live like His Son that we, in effect, start to listen to God's word, and therefore to hear it. And the perceiving (hearing, seeing, becoming conscious) does not occur to us like it would in the case of a message sent by SMS or in the case of the proverbial divine thunderclap, that is: as some sort of phone call from some afterlife or as some divine ventriloquism from some sort of pantheist universe. All of the lives of any one of us speaks the very word that is God for those of us who know how to transform what’s happening to them as yet another opportunity to follow Christ and yet another opportunity to answer His call to follow Him.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire