5 - In memory of Rene Voillaume 1905 -2003, His Message


It has become a commonplace to affirm that in our present world, faith is more difficult for people than it has ever been. Some people even go as far as to conclude that it can no longer mean for us what it meant for all those Christians who, throughout the history of the Church, were irreproachable witnesses to the dynamism of the faith - "a divine power" as Saint Paul said in relation to the Gospel - and to the transfiguration that a living faith can produce in a human life.

Such a transformation of a person is only possible if faith enters the very heart of one's being and all one's powers to know, love and act are regenerated. What would be the value of a faith that we doubted could, by its very nature, introduce us into an increase of being and of life because it is a real grasping of the Living and True God and of creation of which he is the author? If faith was only a certain language "open to interpretation" as people say today, it would not be able to transfigure people's lives.

The reality of the world affirmed by faith alone cannot be made the subject of rational demonstration or a scientific experiment. But in our days, its simple, human "approach" comes up against a new difficulty which sometimes takes on the appearance of an almost insurmountable obstacle. It is a difficulty due to a certain mentality which rejects any substance to purely spiritual beings and realities which our senses cannot immediately discern. But there is still the unimpeachable power, greatness and beauty of the existence of witnesses who lived their human life fully "as if they saw the invisible". Charles de Foucauld was one of the greatest of those who are closest to us in time. (Algiers, March 25 1971)