Friday, 28 August 2009


Only now are the lessons I learned at Taize beginning to take hold in my life.  I think they have been marinating in the midst of my own reflection and prayer over the last couple of weeks and now they are starting to take root and grow.  What struck my heart most there was a recognition of the value of every human being and a prompt to live simply, in communion with the poor and with one focus - GOD.

You wake to prayer with the community, it is at the centre of the day and at its end. For each of these three daily prayers the brothers take their place before the alter and we watch - we wait- we stop. There is chant but then it ceases and there is silence. For ten minutes this church, filled with thousands, is rendered silent. You find yourself looking forth into the light of the alter and perhaps grasping just for an instant what it is we are waiting for. When you stop before that table, that symbol of sacrifice do you ever just wait silently for a few moments to consider what that sacrifice has really done?  That the temple was shattered, that we were taken beyond the realms of the visible, that there are no longer walls between us and God.  He is. We are. We are His.

Sometimes this revelation can be terrifying. God is so huge, we cannot hope to comprehend or understand Him in this life, we are too little, too flawed. Yet we can leave ourselves open to the awesome nature of His truth - the truth that comes with His son.  The Christ that comes to lead us. Looking into those flickering lights you start to feel that sense of immense possibility that dwells in each of us to really live in the presence and knowledge each day, even the days we feel exhausted and shattered  Simplicity and prayer help to bring the world into focus and that is what Taize does for people.  It lifts the exterior away for a short while leaving only the interior.
Even language becomes rather fluid. In chants that encompass world languages one begins to feel deep prayer emitting from the heart without the words being in your own language or even a modern language, the translation is printed in the song books, but one does need this to comprehend the sacred.  I was having breakfast one morning with a new friend from the Russian Orthodox tradition. She said much more articulately than I had been able to express, "You feel as though the words you speak are your own" The beauty of them is that they ARE - they are the words of each one of us because they are the words of hope and love expressed by all Christians whose souls are constantly before the alter of the world...waiting....watching...waiting for that we KNOW lies beyond.

To read what the community say about the prayer through song click here

To check out the translations of the beautiful chants click here


Anne said...

Squelly-this is gorgeous! Absolutely wonderful! I'm almost jealous that I wasn't there! No, I *am* jealous! Thank you so much for sharing this and I can't wait for part 2! God bless you dear!

SQUELLY said...

Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it - I am jealous too (of all the people there enjoying the lovely music and peace at this very moment) I am making do with my CDs though

Andrea said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with us and thank you for storming the heavens on behalf of others.
Blessings, andrea

SQUELLY said...

Thank you Andrea for keeping us up to date with all the causes we can storm heaven with! I am so happy to share my little experiences with all who are kind enough to read along ;-)


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