I have just read a small book written by Marcel Boivin. It contains stories depicting various characters, a kind of paradigm of some of our human behaviours.
All through history, stories have been a means of universal communication. We ourselves relate what we have seen and heard. The story of each nation is incorporated in foundation stories, myths, legends, and traditions’ dating from time immemorial that one passes on from one generation to another. A story has a mysterious persuasive strength. When you are talking to a congregation who are listening to you more or less distractedly, all one has to say, “That reminds me of a story” for ears to prick up and people become more attentive.
One often describes the Bible as the Word of God. The accent is often put on the aspect of revelation. God speaks. He reveals. He unveils. One can say that the Bible contains revealed truths, truths to be believed. However, the Bible is not principally a list of truths requiring belief. It is a story in which our own story takes its roots and finds its final signification. The Bible begins by a temporal expression, “In the beginning” and ends “what must happen soon.” (Rev 1, 1)
The Bible talks much more about God than it explains. “God is perceived as being in dialogue with men in a story that continues today. Speculation is all right, but it still risks becoming an abstraction when it frees itself from the text. It is the same with God as with the sun: if you look at the sun directly, it will blind you but if you contemplate it in green meadows and majestic trees which it illuminates, you admire, and you recognise the source of light.” It is in this spirit that you have to read the stories of Marcel Boivin. They are stories full of wisdom, which instruct, interrogate and console. Each of the stories could have begun with the words. “Once upon a time…” Pope Francis regularly invites Christians to go out and go to the peripheries to bring the Good News. In these stories, the peripheries come to us and evangelise us.
Marcel Boivin, « Sagesse Des Meurtris » Les Éditions GID INC. 7460, Boul.Wilfrid-Hamel, Québec, Qc. CANADA, ISBN 978-2-89634-321-8