I am 43 years old, and since I
came into this world, everything has been about rebuilding, accepting, rebirth,
the marvel of a people who lick their wounds, get back on their feet, start to
walk and forget, only to then repeatedly make the same mistakes all over again!
Bitterness is the feeling I have, and an aftertaste of bile, a raw, burning rage
and a sense of being imprisoned. Yes, imprisoned. I feel hostage to a
never-ending present, the prisoner of a present which has no yesterday. It has
been swept up along with the debris of a city that no longer exists. This
present is cut off from any possibility of “tomorrow.” I feel enslaved by the
oblivion of the present, this eternal beginning. Like a modern-day Sisyphus, I
am forced to push ad vitam aeternam
the boulder of a reconstruction that is no longer the synonym of life but of a
death anchored to an endlessly repeating present, akin to a never forgiven sin.
Reconstructing Beirut today is not about choosing life but choosing oblivion.
This year my priesthood bears the colours of
failure, of a fall, a defeat, an enforced stay in bed, a radical change of
life, dreams, desires, in short, an upheaval. The very upheaval that has just
shaken the country has also rattled my priesthood. It has called into question
what I assumed, until that fateful moment, were solid convictions, striking my
priesthood down, for its legs, so to speak, have been shattered by a cannon
ball. Simultaneously, this has laid waste to priestly ambitions, dreams and