Sunday, 1 August 2010

Intercessory prayer

"Intercession is:

not an alibi for some kind of passivity;
it is the continuation of the struggle with other means;
it is the indispensable prolongation of political action and of participation in the class struggle on the side of the victims of exploitation and domination.

It is an act of modesty,
not of demobilization,
the expression of lucid realism,
not of discouragement,
even less of any sort of resignation.

What matters is that I am always conscious of both the indispensable character and the relitivity of the work in which I am engaged with others; waiting for that great final liberation, there are small steps, limited advances, towards more justice and respect for man in this world in which we live. As long as I breathe, I will not rest nor be indifferent toward these brothers, comrades, companions, and those I do not know, who are reduced to the last moral and physical extremity..."

Georges Casalis, "Torture and Prayer", International Review of Mission 66 (1977) p. 240.

The language of George Casalis (1917-1987) is that of his time, but I find his point still worth remembering. Casalis was a remarkable man; his story is hardly known in the English-speaking world (and it isn't that much better in German or French either). His most well-known book, Correct Ideas don't fall from the Sky (orig.: Les idées justes ne tombent pas du ciel, 1977) gives us one, relatively late, insight. I wish I had the time to read more by and about him, and perhaps write, too.