A parable of communion.
The prayer and spirit of Taize.
God’s presence is a breath that fills the entire universe.
It is an inrush of love, light and peace on earth.
Borne forward by the breath of life,
we are drawn to live in communion with others
and we are led to make the hope of peace
a reality in the human family.
May this communion and this hope
shine out around us!”
Inspired by the Rule of St Benedict and the life and witness of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, Brother Roger (Roger Schutz) began to gather young friends around him to live a simple monastic community life of prayer and manual work in an obscure rural village in Burgundy, France, after the devastation of World War 11. Living together in peace, and praying for reconciliation and healing in a divided and traumatised Europe was their intention, and this grew as young people were drawn to join them on this little ‘city set on a hill’ to pray and share their vision and dream for
a world of peace, trust and reconciliation.
There is a Gospel reality which makes life beautiful-peace of heart.
Ambrose wrote,’Begin the work of peace in yourself
so that, once you are at peace yourself, you can bring peace to others.’
The peace of our heart makes life beautiful for those around us.
Such a peace is rooted in a mysterious presence, the presence of Christ.
We then, like the apostle Peter, ‘Fix our eyes on Christ
as on a star shining in the night,
until the day begins to dawn and the sun rises in the heart.’ “
Living in the spirit of the Beatitudes, ‘simplicity, joy and mercy,’ has become a hallmark of the way of life of the brothers of Taize, and this witness has profoundly influenced and inspired countless young people and others who have been on pilgrimage to Taize to live for a week or more and to share in the life of hospitality, prayer and biblical reflection and sharing. Spreading out from Taize itself, the community has planted small gospel communities in poor areas around the world, and established a simple but profound gospel seed of their ‘Pilgrimage of trust on earth’.
Gathering thousands of young people from all over the world and from different Christian backgrounds, and encouraging them to share their faith and friendship in a spirit of mutual respect and prayer has gradually built deep bonds of communion and trust in generations of young people. The profound and simple beauty of the repetitive chants used in the common prayer of Taize have enabled many young people and others to enter into prayer
in a spirit of unity and peace and to build bridges between divided communities.
On his visit in 1986, Pope St. John Paul II said:
‘One passes through Taize as one passes close to a spring of water. The traveller stops, quenches their thirst and continues on their way.’
Another of the close friends of Taize, Pope John XXIII, exclaimed:
‘Ah, Taize, that little springtime!’
Long may this springtime last and bear the blossoms of peace and reconciliation!
You breathe your Holy Spirit on us
and you tell us: ‘Peace be yours’.
Opening ourselves to your peace-
Letting it penetrate the harsh and rocky ground of our hearts
means preparing ourselves to be bearers of reconciliation
wherever you may place us.
But you know that at times we are at a loss.
So come and lead us to wait in silence,
to let a ray of hope shine forth in our world.
Quotations of Brother Roger of Taize
For more information on the community of Taize, it’s prayer, it’s song, and it’s spirituality, please look at the Taize website.