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On the Eighth Psalm

by Antoine Peillon
translation Louise Thunin

How magnificent is your name in all the earth ! Yes, when I contemplate your heavens, the moon and the stars, the flowers and the honey, all the migratory birds, the wolf of the Mercantour and the roebuck of Brocéliande, women and children, all these marvels of the world, multiplying under the infinite vault of the cosmos, then my heart leaps for joy, and a psalm of gratitude arises : what a great Architect of the Universe you are, greater yet than a clockmaker or an architect, what a creator ! You are The Creator. Deus Constructor !
And I, a man, am I not your creature ? Did you not make me little less than God ? But what does the burnt forest say, the oil-drenched bird, the poached deer and the poisoned wolf ? And those men and women of my lineage who rose toward your heaven, but in the smoke vomited forth from a gas chamber ? And all the little Aylan Jurdis of our world today ? Your pet of all creation, Homo exterminator, is he not the destroyer ? Has he not blotted out God himself ? For the ultimate question returns incessantly, updated by our apocalyptic daily news : « What remains of our idea of God after Auschwitz ? »
Well, here is the answer : beneath all skies, millions of men and women are weaving, as never before since the emergence of Homo sapiens, the fraternal tapestry of a cosmopolitan humanity ! Thus God is indeed the creator of a creature crowned with magnificence, himself creating, since ˝to create is to resist ; to resist is to create.˝ A creature who, finally, no longer pursues the reign of his own power and glory.
Good news ! Yes, dear creator God who gave birth to the heavens and the earth, who separated the light from the darkness and who saw that it was beautiful-well-good : ever since the seventh day, I have continued your creation whenever I have resisted the destroyers, participated in repairing the world, created the beautiful, the saintly and the common good, loved without restraint the moon and the stars, the flowers and the honey, all the birds, women and children, wherever they come from, and have dreamed of peace under the infinite vault of the cosmos.


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