And I have discovered a treasure….
The Gospel (at the foot of the tower)
“ Come and join at number 3 Place de Prague at the foot of the towers, Claudine tells me , I am sure you will enjoy it !”
I came, I saw and I was conquered. And since that time , when I can I take part on Friday afternoons in what is called the Gospel at the foot of the towers in the Blosne .
Lisette Daughter of Jesus in the district of Blosne , Rennes , France for a number of years shares her discoveries with us .
The group started off in 1995 . Marie Paule,
an employee who is a cleaner on the trains ,
confided to Sister Michelle ( a sister of Christ Redeemer from Rillé Fougere ) her colleague:
“ Yesterday evening I needed to hear the Word of God so much that , when some Jehovah witnesses came knocking at my door , I asked them to read me some passages for me.”
Sr. Michelle spoke to the parish priest , who suggested reading the Bible with at her home and inviting others. The Gospel at the foot of the towers was born and every Friday a group of some 20 people meet there to share life experience and living the gospel .
The meetings begin with a sharing of events of the week. The foot of the towers is a meeting place where local people gather many of whom are in difficulties, unemployment, poverty, depression, physical and psychological illnesses .
But what characterises this little church area are confidence, friendship and conviviality which reign there. Here there are no masks , everyone feels free to be themselves: We know that we will be accepted as we are with our poverty, sometimes lost , but also richness… There without having studied we discover fundamental attitudes of listening , that of Christ listening to the Samaritan woman;
“To know someone else’s country,
To know someone else’s difference
To listen to someone else’s language
To hear the others desires
To share each other’s good news”.
We are in fact all different but share in solidarity , a cup of coffee or tea with a little cake help to heal wounds and loneliness. Each one can speak freely . He knows that he will not be judged and that he is not alone to carry his problem.
One of us admits his addiction to alcohol , another his suffering due to a difficult childhood and another his troubled life… everything is accepted with respect and a desire to help… but also share Marie Louise who shows us the picture of her latest little grandson or someone else who suddenly receives the son he had rejected.
SHARING THE GOSPEL
There comes the weekly moment when we share the Good News. Jackie brings her guitar to create an atmosphere, a candle is lit, an icon and the Word of the Gospel is presented for a moment of listening and questioning.
Here I confess to being full of wonder . No need to be an intellectual to break through the mystery of God ! Each one shares his reflections, his questions and the action of God in his life.
Viviane has felt guilty about her divorce and turned away from the Church, “here she says I have found faith peace and the joy it brings.”
“living the Gospel is not a question of copying it, but of re-writing it everyday”
“ If nobody trusts you, you are nothing ! Jesus loves everyone ,the rich as well as the poor , he looks at the heart”
“ We must go from fear to daring because of Jesus. “
This weekly meeting around the Word does not remain theoretical.
Someone needs a helping hand to move? Help is at hand.
Jean Marie admits he cannot read? People from the group him to overcome his handicap.
One or other has a social problem? Each one tries to find a solution.
What amazes me most is the group the dead men of the street and to care for their corner of the cemetery.
When I say I have discovered a treasure , that is not an exaggeration it is with joy that I offer my small part to prepare a page marker for the Gospel or a poster or to invite them to visit my studio or to share a little tea party with the community.
Above all by my contact with them and like them I leave them feeling enriched and better.