Fr. Terry’s Taizé Reflections, part two

April 2015 – A Day at Taizé

After morning prayer and a very simple breakfast, we meet with a brother from the Community for some teaching. Brother Pedro met with us both yesterday and today. These are in a lecture format rather than one in which there is dialogue between speaker and audience. However, Pedro’s lectures are not heady but instead serve as his take of certain Gospels as read from what the heart seeks. Yesterday he spoke of the call of Andrew in Mark, asserting the importance of Andrew in the gospels, something I found touching since we are of Andrew ourselves even though we may not think of what this may mean for our mission. Pedro spoke of Andrew’s importance as one first touched by Jesus and who runs to tell his brother Peter about him and of course ultimately brings Peter to Jesus. Today Pedro spoke of Jesus’ meeting with both the Samaritan Woman and with Nicodemus in the gospel of John, speaking of how Jesus always encountered people–went out of his way to meet them and basically implied that was our mission as followers of Jesus–that we go out of our way to encounter people, to welcome them and to engage with them in their questions about life and its meaning. We don’t begin with our questions but we invite theirs. In the cases of both the woman of Samaria and of Nicodemus, he met them on their terms–the woman at her well in the midday drawing water and Nicodemus in the night when no one would see him. Both met Jesus in their fear, and Jesus heard them and drew them deeper into what they were both really seeking.

In the afternoon we meet in small groups to discuss the teaching we’ve received in the morning. These are wonderful groups composed of people from widely different lands, all seekers coming to Taizé. In my group there are people from France, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. There are others from Holland and an Irishman from London, in addition to the two of us from the U.S. When each speaks they bring a wealth of experience into the dialogue which in turn makes our discussion rich, broad and deep. Each of us responding to questions we’ve been given.

So much for the structured time. I’d like also to speak of the unstructured time. These include many conversations with people from all over the world. I’ve met a couple of Italian guys who are very fun and with whom we constantly trade stories and experiences. Then too I’ve talked with a man from France about Europe’s experience in World War II and of Brother Roger’s determination first that France and Germany must be reconciled so as not to repeat their three most recent wars – in the 1870s, WWI and WWII. I’ve talked with an older Japanese woman living in France about her having only recently become baptized and about the importance being a follower of Christ is for her in her life and her Japanese heritage.

This is as much as I can send today. Wifi coverage is also very simple and totally limited.

Please keep my father George in your prayers.

Blessings,

Fr. Terry