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To the spiritual roots of the will to live

Do you want to live?

by Maxime Gimenez

Venison, 344 p., €24

Monk at the monastery of Chevetogne dedicated to unity between Christians, in Belgium, Father Maxime Gimenez offers here a dive into interiority to explore the will: “To what extent and to what extent is the whole man involved in wanting and living? », he asks in the preamble. “Faced with the capital importance of the choice and the decision to live in a world where endemic states of crisis are putting our humanity on the edge of the abyss, man must, more than ever, question himself about the spring of his will. . » This will can not only be apprehended according to a psychological approach but especially according to a spiritual approach: “Living and wanting both present a common fund: that of the deep consciousness of Life. » This is at a deeper level than “ordinary awareness” and she “is connected to the pure energy of Life”.

If contemporary man has lost the meaning, the taste and the value of the life he leads, he must find in his deep consciousness the light which will restore to him the dynamism of his “want to live”. Otherwise, he condemns himself to moral and spiritual paralysis like the man lying on his stretcher beside the pool of Bethesda in the Gospel of John. “Do you want to heal? »asks Jesus, enjoining him to “to find in himself the fulcrum of an energy which will not only lift him from his pallet, but, at the same time, will dispense him from looking outside for the thaumaturgical water of the swimming pool”. “Do you want to live? » Father Maxime Gimenez echoes the reader. He first analyzes “the existential difficulties encountered by the human will” and “ the real obstacles Life encounters in order to truly be the “Life-in-us””. Then he studies the unhappiness “. “It happens when we no longer know who we are” and is manifested by a loss of meaning, taste and value of Life. “Powerless to free themselves from the quicksand of lies and illusion”, the human being feels divided. He must hear again this call to be “son and daughter of life” as Moses before the burning bush hears the name of God: ” I am. » Browsing through the Scriptures, the monk gives us an original and fascinating reading of passages from the Bible, which make the texts understandable and come to shed light on his sometimes complex subject – in particular when he approaches the notions of soul, body and of mind. Everyone can hear for themselves Jesus’ question to the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda, the call to wake up to his “to be real” and to dare to take a step in faith to rediscover an interior unity. At the spiritual roots of healing is a reconciliation between irreconcilable oppositions” : “life and death, good and evil, happiness and unhappiness, suffering and enjoyment”. A final chapter deals with the ordeal of illness. Felt often “like a tragic ‘off-road’ ending in an abrupt halt or sudden paralysis of life”she “stands out as revealing a decisive thrust of Life: that of the ‘desire to live’. » A reading that invites inner reconciliation, for oneself, and “for the surrounding world”.


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