From the wisdom of the Buddha to the madness of Christ
The encounter with the history and the people who lived it is important to understand where the human being goes. Director of the monthly magazine Traces, Davide Perillo, presents with these words at the Meeting of Rimini, at 3 p.m. in D5 auditorium, the testimony of Claire Ly, a Cambodian journalist and writer, professor at the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions in Marseille.
Claire tells her story of conversion from Buddhism to Christianity, divided into three stages: the encounter with the Western God, Jesus’ gospel and the Eucharistic encounter. Her life is marked by pain: the communist regime of the ‘Red Khmer’ exterminates her family, father, brothers and husband, shot because they were considered as imperialists. She, a professor of philosophy with a two year old son and another in her womb, is considered as an intellectual to be ‘re-educated’ ‘and she is bound to a field of work in a paddy field. “Why me? – You ask – according to the Karma if someone is suffering is because he has done something wrong, but I had done anything. I started to insult the God of the West, every day, to vent my anger, until one day in the paddy a strange silence, a silence ‘inhabited’ fell. That silence made me feel not only my pain, but for the first time also that of others. “.
In evil God has become present in a silence which was tenderness. Claire Ly said that in 1980 managed to escape to France, where she was received as a political refugee. Without money, she receives help from the pastor and the parish priest. It is the priest who gives her newspapers, books and magazines, and on one of these Claire reads the encyclical ‘Dives in Misericordia’ of John Paul II. Therefore she feels the desire to read the gospel, and this is the second leg of his journey of conversion: “Jesus of Nazareth seduces me with his humanity, he was a beggar like me. This call gives me courage and I am not afraid. I feel free to submit myself.
The third major meeting Ly lives is the Eucharist. During a vacation she takes part in a mass and fixes his eyes upon the host. “In that moment I felt a call: God is on his knees in front of my woman’s weakness. At that moment I said ‘yes I want to be a Jesus’ disciple’. We are all sent to meet Jesus in Galilee because we do have to meet the man. ”
In 1983, Claire receives the baptism. It is after her rebirth in Christ that the story of her life gets moving. Never denying her Buddhist roots, with infinite gentleness Claire outlines the return with her children in the earth and in the same places where her family had been murdered. There grows a mangrove forest, there is a foul scent but it’s there that beautiful flowers are born. Claire shows a flower’s picture a next to a crucifix’s picture from the church in her village, “an opening to love, I invite you to dream with me so that there be a big hug which collects all people, Christians and non-Christians” .
Davide Perillo concludes the meeting by stating: “In front of this tale of life, our “I” flourishes again. This is why in this year’s Meeting there have been so many meetings on the testimony, where you can see many ‘I’ flourish again”.