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Hope, "that's amazing, says God"!
Like so many other Guest Houses, 5 and a half months of total closure. In our case, we continue to "look out" for a possible date of reopening. (photo 1: the Center with the closed shutters...waiting)
And now, in the Light of Easter, and supported by beautiful Easter celebrations with well attended assemblies, we have just heard again the challenging invitation "Do not be tired of hoping... " (photo 2: the new fire) Under the flame, an ember remains alive: it has just given us the opportunity to hear again another voice, that of "La petite espérance" * -"The little hope"- by Charles Péguy, French writer and poet, which had already 'titillated' us at the time of the New Year's greetings:
“The faith I love best," says God, "is hope.
Faith doesn't surprise me, it's not surprising,
I have so much fun in my creation ...
But hope, says God, that's what amazes me.
That is amazing,
That these poor children see how things are today
And believe that tomorrow will be better...
That's amazing and that's the greatest wonder of our grace...
On the rough road to salvation,
On the endless road, the little hope advances... "
(photo 3: Plum tree in bloom)
A little voice that invites us not to give up. And that is no mean feat! At the same time, we must listen to and take into account the latest official announcements, which suggest that a gradual opening could perhaps be expected in mid-May. Other voices suggest that we will have to wait until the summer for various openings to really emerge. At the risk of being rash, we have "rescheduled" some retreats for the third time and we are maintaining the dates announced for most of them. As for the other courses (yoga, painting, iconography, etc.) and various reservations, the director ensures a necessary follow-up. As you can see, we opt for a certain pragmatism, but this is our way of following "The Little Hope"!
Although the wait is long in our Guest House, a certain amount of activity can be seen and heard on the property: Indeed, fortnight after fortnight, a fine team of "Friends of L’île Blanche" -more than 20 volunteers- are giving their best to give the park a major "spring clean"... and even more, to do a lot of clearing of undergrowth, tree maintenance, etc... (photos 4 and 5: the group at work) And how can we not mention the "birch sap" collected by Marie-Bruno with the help of Helena: a beautiful ecological gift, precious for health ! (photo 6). And all this in the spirit of the "Green Church" * -in relation to ‘Laudato Si’, programme which our Centre would like to progressively enter... (photo 7: 'Green Church' logo)
"On the rough road, on the endless road,
the little hope goes forward...
Hope sees what is not yet and what will be. "
L’île Blanche Community, in Brittany - France. Published on 10 April 2021
* The "Green Church" Label: an ecumenical initiative launched in September 2017, in France, for parishes and Christian communities, aiming to encourage an ecological conversion.