Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Dom Christian's Testament A French monk on his murder by terrorists
James Martin, SJ America November 14, 2015
Dom Christian de Chergé was one of the Trappist monks killed by extremists at the Monastery of Notre Dame of Atlas in Tibhirine, Algeria, in 1996, by terrorists identifying themselves as the ‘Armed Islamic Groups.’ (Their story was told in the film ‘Of Gods and Men.’) Dom Christian and the other Trappist martyrs knew that by remaining in Tibhirine, in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the country who also faced terrorism and violence, they might be called upon to offer their lives. This is in stark contrast to the terrible plight of those who died in Paris yesterday, whose lives were taken from them forcibly……….
Testament of Dom Christian de Chergé (Opened on Pentecost Sunday, May 26, 1996)
Facing a GOODBYE ...
If it should happen one day—and it could be today—that I become a victim of the terrorism which now seems ready to engulf all the foreigners living in Algeria, I would like my community, my Church and my family to remember that my life was GIVEN to God and to this country………
I ask them to associate this death with so many other equally violent ones which are forgotten through indifference or anonymity.
My life has no more value than any other. Nor any less value. In any case, it has not the innocence of childhood.
I have lived long enough to know that I am an accomplice in the evil which seems to prevail so terribly in the world, even in the evil which might blindly strike me down……….
I do not see, in fact, how I could rejoice if the people I love were indiscriminately accused of my murder…………..
I am aware of the scorn which can be heaped on the Algerians indiscriminately.
I am also aware of the caricatures of Islam which a certain Islamism fosters.
It is too easy to soothe one's conscience by identifying this religious way with the fundamentalist ideology of its extremists…………….
May we meet again as happy thieves in Paradise, if it please God, the Father of us both.
Algiers, 1st December 1993
Tibhirine, 1st January 1994
Read more http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/dom-christians-testament