I want to take a moment to share a very fulfilling experience I’ve recently returned home from. The Taize community in France is an international, ecumenical order of Christian brothers who dedicate themselves to promoting trust, community, and reconciliation in the human family. To this end they invite thousands of people every year to their community in France – especially young people – so that they may reflect on the Bible, share their life experiences, and share in the prayer life of the brothers. I think most in the USA know Taize from the music that animates their prayers – passages from scripture that are sung over and over to create a meditative ambiance for prayer.
I have been to their community in France twice and found it to be an incredibly enriching experience…it has deepened my prayer life, in particular giving me a new appreciation for daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and the Rosary. Pope John Paul II was a personal friend of the order’s founder, Pope Benedict keeps in contact with the current prior, and the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has warmly praised the community’s work.
Anyway, every New Year’s the Taize community embarks on a “pilgrimage of trust on Earth” to a different European capital to share their prayer with others. This year I and 40,000 others – including a number of Catholic archbishops and Belgium’s Cardinal Daneels – gathered in Brussels for a week, where we were warmly welcomed by Catholic parishes and Catholic parishioners across the diocese to pray together for peace and unity.
Here is Taize’s website: taize.fr/en
There is a link near the bottom for info about the Brussels meeting.
This post is just to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the success of that meeting, and to encourage people to read a little about Taize and to share any experiences or ideas they may have about the community and the aesthetics of its prayers…
Thank you for reading!