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Exchange of Values

Exchange of Values
acrylic on board 48'X96'

"Structure of Color Perception"

"Structure of Color Perception"
48'X96' acrylic on board

Thursday, December 15, 2016



I have been posting through Brother Christophe’s surviving journal from Tibhirine in one of my old Facebook posts and todays entry has has dwelled in my mind since first reading it months ago.

10/23/1993. The 23rd. from Brother Christophe.

I warn you: I am
going through you I go before you and
I breathe into you the Way
and oblige you in truth.
I baptize you with myself on the cross
go
take my I love you
be me

Many of my recent media feeds attend to the terrible death and destruction in Aleppo Syria. I remember when Algerians were suffering in a similar way in the 90’s. Around the time of the massacre of the Monks of Tibihirine we were visiting France and there was great consternation in Paris about how to deal with this new phenomenon of 'islamic terrorism’ and the murder of innocents in France’s former colonies. Many called for renewed military involvement and air strikes. Anti-Muslim persecution and demonstrations were becoming more common. I sense now that even among my Christian friends there is frustration and despair and perhaps an acceptance or desire for some overwhelming violent force to stop these calamities in Aleppo and elsewhere. I suppose we might want to believe that this imaginary force could be both perfectly just, totally compassionate, and absolutely discriminate, and that only evildoers will be killed and all innocents will be spared.    That is a false hope.

I warn you: I am
going through you I go before you and
I breathe into you the Way
and oblige you in truth.
I baptize you with myself on the cross
go
take my I love you
be me

Its important to remember that its possible that the 7 Tibihrine monks were actually killed by Algerian soldiers fighting the monks captors. There is evidence that Christophe was killed during an Algerian Govt. helicopter strike on the rebel’s camp and that the survivors beheaded the monks afterward for propaganda purposes. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what the suffering people of Aleppo should do. I don’t trust the Russians, Syrians, the rebels, Turkey, Israel, or my own government. I say desperate prayers and Catholic relief services and others are doing good work among the refugees and need financial support, but its easy to fall victim to frustration and despair even/especially in the midst of our own relative security and well being. Today’s entry by Christophe is one of my favorites although I don’t understand it in any deep way. But those words “I breathe into you the Way,” have stuck with me the last few months and have been helpful during my own struggles so I made of them a short prayer for Aleppo as well as for my friends in need.

*May the god of love and peace breathe into us the Way*

I sometimes can imagine god responding to my call using parts of Christophe’s prayer:

I am
I breathe into you the Way
I oblige you in truth
I love you
be me
go

Shalom.

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