Br. Roger of Taize – Rest in Peace

When I was young, at a time when Europe was torn apart by so many conflicts, I kept on asking myself: Why all these confrontations?  Why do so many people, even Christians, condemn one another out of hand?  And I wondered:  is there, on this earth, a way of reaching complete understanding of others?  Then came a day – I can still remember the date, and I could describe the place:  the subdued light of a late summer evening, darkness settling over the countryside — a day when I made a decision.  I said to myself, if this way does exist, begin with yourself and resolve to understand every person fully.  That day, I was certain the vow I had made was for life.  It involved nothing less than returning again and again, my whole life long, to this irrevocable decision:  seek to understand all, rather than to be understood.

Br. Roger of Taize 1915-2005
On August 16, during a prayer service at Taize,
Brother Roger is fatally wounded by a mentally unbalanced assailant.
  He dies at the age of ninety.

Young and Old

Every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old. (Mt. 13:52)

I was brought up in the old traditions, but listening to younger people and sharing in their private struggles rids me of certain reflexes of fear. Without these thousands of young people here on the hill, where would I be now, in spite of my desire to be open.

Br. Roger of Taize

Community and Growth

“Frequently, a call of Jesus is revealed to us as we feel truly at home in a community and discover that the community for us is a place of growth in love and in total acceptance of the good news of Jesus. That is one of the signs that Jesus is saying to us: ‘Come and live with these brothers and sisters who may squabble together like the first of my disciples, but this is where I am calling you to be today. It might be difficult but it will be a place of growth in love for you. It is there that I will reveal to you my love.’”
Jean Vanier