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Of Gods and Men

10/24/2017 | 5 Minute Read | Author: Nate Carden

The movie is based on a true story of 9 French trappist monks who live in harmony with a large population of Muslims in Algeria in the late 90s during the Algerian Civil War. They saw the violence heating up and knew their lives were in danger but they unanimously decided to stay in Algeria despite pleas from the French and Algerian governments to flee the country.

Seven of the nine monks were taken captive and assassinated. Some of the lines in the movie were incredibly powerful. I’ve listed 3 below..

Christian, when casting his vote on whether to stay at the monastery or flee:

Les fleurs des champs ne changent pas de place pour trouver les rayons de soleil. Dieu prend soin de les féconder la ou elles se trouvent. Restez ou Dieu vous a mis, et porter des fruits qu’il vous demande
Translation – wildflowers don’t move to find the sun’s rays. God takes care to fertilize them where they are. Stay where God has placed you and bring forth the fruits that he has asked of you.
Letter from Bother Luc:

I was recently reading this “pensée” of Pascal’s: “Men never do evil so completely and
cheerfully as when they do it for religious conviction.” Here there is confusion and

We are in a “risky” situation but we persist in our faith and our confidence in God. It is
through poverty, failure and death that we advance towards him.

Heavy and devastating downpours have not curbed the violence that is infiltrating itself
everywhere. Two opponents are present, one wants to hold on to power, the other seize it.
They are fighting with their backs against the wall. I don’t know when or how it will all
end. In the meantime, I perform my duty…

Caring for the poor and the sick, awaiting for the day or the time to close my eyes. My
dear friend, pray for me, may my exit from this world be done in the peace and joy of
Brother Christian’s testament:

Should it ever befall me, and it could happen today, to fall victim to the terrorism which seems to now want to engulf all the foreigners living here, I would like my community, my church and my family to remember that my life was GIVEN to God and to this country.

May they accept that the Unique Master of all life could not be a stranger to this brutal departure. May they be able to associate this death to so many other violent ones, consigned to the apathy of anonymity.

I’ve lived long enough to know that I am complicit in the evil that, alas, seems to prevail over the world and even of the one that would strike me blindly.

I could never desire such a death. In fact, I don’t see how I could ever rejoice in this people I love being indistinctly accused of my murder.

I know the contempt the people of this country may have indiscriminately been surrounded by. And I know which caricatures of Islam a certain Islamism encourages.

This country and Islam, for me, are something else. They are a body and a soul.

My death will of course quickly vindicate those who hastily called me naïve or idealistic, but they must know that I will finally be freed of my most burning curiosity and will be able, God willing, to immerse my gaze into the Father’s in order to contemplate with him his children of Islam as he sees them.

In this THANK YOU, where from now on all is said about my life, I include you of course, friends of yesterday and today, and you as well, friend of the last minute, who knew not what you were doing.

Yes, for you as well I want this THANK YOU and this FAREWELL which you envisaged.

And may we meet again, happy thieves in paradise, if it pleases God, the Father of us both.