The pandemic has slowed down or even stopped some sectors of cultural life. This is not the case for reading, if one considers the explosion in book sales. And the curfew from 9pm onwards risks further accentuating the phenomenon.
Among the favourites of the last few days, I want to tell you about a work published by L'enfance des arbres and entitled : Avec Jean Sulivan, dans l'espérance d'une Parole.
The book is a collection of testimonies, forty years after the death of Jean Sulivan. Among the contributors and friends are, of course, Jean Lavoué, Colette Nys Mazure, Gabriel Ringlet, Dominique Collin, Jean-Claude Guillebaud and Bertrand Révillon.
This book therefore pays homage to the priestly writer Jean Sulivan, one of the most original writers of the second half of the 20th century, author of some thirty novels and essays. Above all, we must salute him as a man of his word. We know that speech is creative, it sings in the words of the poet, in freedom. Jean Sulivan wrote: "Before acting politically, faith acts poetically, creates new eyes, sings the magnificat". "The Word is that "Rise and walk" which never stops being said and creating us".
For Bertrand Révillon, Jean Sulivan was able to show how elusive God is, "the minute we think we know him, he disappears in our eyes, as in the eyes of the walkers of Emmaus. [...] This God of the depths, how can we be sure not to invent him for our own happiness? "asks Sulivan in a dazzling shortcut. [...] "Yes, dare to break, again and again, the clay idols of our false certainties about God". Yes, dare to break all the idols that we make for ourselves or that we make for ourselves, our most sacred idols.
Just afterwards, Jean-Claude Guillebaud evokes the morning voice of Sulivan, the one that awakens and uninstalls those whose souls are accustomed to it: "I will only quote these lines: "Someone who tells his little truth brings me closer to Christ than the mobsters and the technicians of salvation [...] The Gospel, the book of words, plunges me into the Openness of the moment. It is the insurgent book. To read it is to be born elsewhere. It is this insurrection that is vital in Sulivan's writing-word, that of the poor God who is only a gift and gives life.
You have to read the sixty or so contributions to understand the strength of this man's writings drawn from the Gospel, texts that awaken and do not leave you alone: Avec Jean Sulivan, dans l'espérance d'une parole (With John Sulivan, in the hope of a word).