by Vincens Hubac
Translation Louise Thunin
Let’s face it, professing faith (our own ? that of the group we belong to ?) seems impossible. How can we speak of God ? Simply naming Him is the same as reducing Him to the name or concept we are thinking of. Whereas God will always escape us. Speaking of God means taking the risk of unwittingly proclaiming something erroneous… What I believe is not necessarily what we ought to believe.
Finally, the simple declaration, « I believe », followed by a silence that God alone can fill with His presence, is no doubt the best we can do. This ineffable presence transports us, recreates us, makes new beings of us. This « I believe » implies, therefore, in this meeting initiated by God, a manner of being which witnesses to the active presence of God in the world, far more than do dogma or creed, which enclose us in exclusive and paralyzing certainties.
Jesus of Nazareth expresses this manner of being, founded on loving one’s neighbor. It is love – agape – which inspired what is written in the first epistle of John : « God is love. » Why didn’t this very simple statement find its way into the « credo » ? And why is deaconship – help for the poor, which was nonetheless the first of church institutions (cf. The Acts of the Apostles), so often forgotten ? One could believe in the Church as universal in its service to the poorest of the poor… If a profession of faith is to be an expression of God’s word, it must be accompanied by acts of service, which demonstrate the pertinence of what is said, otherwise our discourse is counter-testimony or insignificant verbiage.
It is in silence that I perceive the agape of God, which dynamizes the world, recreates it and founds brotherhood.
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