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Entrance hymn


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BROTHER HENRI VERGÈS

Prayer service
ENTRANCE HYMN

Let all the earth (As One in Christ, vol. II, nº 152)
Brother Henri Vergès is with a group of nineteen martyrs of Algeria. The cause has not yet started and it will proceed, without doubt, very slowly. The political and social situation in Algeria remains delicate. The seven Trappists brothers have left some writings that need to be studied, as with Pierre Claverie, the bishop of Oran. But we continue to receive testimonies full of sympathy regarding our Brother Henri, the first by date of the martyrs of Algeria.
These nineteen martyrs belonged to eight different congregations and cultures, They were passionate servants of the Church for the people of Algeria, in a simple people who weaved numerous links of friendship. They were humble and good; the Lord radiated from their hearts, their lives, their silence. They gave witness to their faith, the faith of those who prepared dialogue through prayer.
Walk in the light, walk in the light,

walk in the light, walk in the light of the Lord
They form a beautiful icon of the Church in Algeria: small, composed only of a few thousand faithful spread throughout four dioceses: Algiers, Oran, Laghouat and Constantine-Hippone. The Church lives here in poverty for it has lost its social power and pomp; it nourishes its life of love and service. Thus purified and without ambitions, it would like to be a starting point for the dialogue with Islam For the great majority of Algerian Moslems, the Church represents a distinct faith whose presence is an occasion to value their own identity and to learn to respect the other.

The Church of Algeria does not forget that it is the inheritor of Tertullien, of Saints Augustine and Cyprian, and all radiant beings who, with the light of their word and their example, have prepared for better times. The prophetical nature of the small Church of Algeria illumines the history that we can glimpse on the horizon. The blood of Christian martyrs shed with that of a great number of Moslem brothers is a passionate supplication interceding so that our humanity will be more welcoming, more tolerant, more human and that it will always know, in its diversity, how to give thanks to God.


Walk in the light, walk in the light,

walk in the light, walk in the light of the Lord
GOSPEL (Mt. 5, 13-16)

You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

You are the light of the world. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven



TESTIMONIES

Brother Henri was always up before dawn, to give to God what was returned to him as grace. Community prayer in chapel was next. He would not have missed it for anything in the world. It was his way of taking up contact with community life again, after rising, at the same time as he resumed contact with God. This time was for him the spiritual start of his day and it was essential, like going to eat…


Bro Henri’s joy was the Eucharist, when it was available. In any case, he rediscovered in the tabernacle his Master, who was there to remind him in the secrecy of the celebrations of that real presence which was the whole of his being. His spiritual life shows in the thread of his notebooks, which are so many seals of his contemplative life. Henri Verges was much too humble to consider himself a spiritual master. He did not have the learning of a theologian, but he had the experience. He trusted not in his own power but in God’s
Moment of silence
URDU POEM by Hazrat Mirza Ghula

He who lives in humility

is the one who finds his Beloved.


Only those who are near to God are alive.
It is they, having been accepted by God,

who have become His dear friends.


They are far removed from God

who are far away from righteousness.


They are at all times

the prisoners of arrogance, pride and vanity.


Friends, righteousness means

the abandoning of haughtiness,


The getting rid of the habit of pride,

vanity and greediness.


Give up the love of this transient world.
For the sake of your Beloved,

give up the path of mirth and jollity.


Accept the life of hardship in all sincerity,
So that the angels may descend on you.

Give up conceit and vanity

- that is what righteousness is.
Make yourselves lowly and humble;

that is where the pleasure of God resides.







REFLECTIONS OF BRO. HENRI (We can recite some Hail Mary after each paragraph)

The library: these thousand young ones we welcome, these ten thousand people that surround us. A multitude still full of faith but that fears its future. The distraught youth of this country. Help us, our Mother to light up hope in these young hearts.
'My presence in such a place, in such a time is necessary only in as much as God wants it for me and my brothers. Like Jesus, I must be totally available to the Father's will. I wish to be the little flower that blossoms where God planted it on hearth and irrigates it with the Spirit's living water. In everything, to always say YES through and in Jesus' YES, like the Virgin Mary.'
'The word I live is truer than the word I say. To aspire to radiate from my being at its best.' 'Patience, calm and tranquil perseverance. Like the sower that entrusts the soil with his seeds and allows God time to do His work: essential attitude for an educator considering that I don't know how these young people will develop. God simply sent me to sow in fields chosen by himself. I will then sow in peace and rely on God for the growth. I must not fear the presence of the cross.'
'I want to allow Christ's peace to invade my being more and more intimately. Patience, kindness towards myself, patience, kindness towards all, specially the young ones that God entrusts to me. Virgin Mary, make me a channel of peace to the world.'

FINAL SONG

José M. Ferre, West Africa


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