Meditation by Brother Alois

“From which source can we draw life?”

Thursday 26 August 2021

As the summer nears its end, it is a particular joy for us brothers to welcome you to Taizé this week, which is the biggest of the summer. With the sisters and the volunteers who live with us, we were very sad in the spring to have to close the welcome: so we are very happy to see so many of you again this week.

In the difficult context that we are all going through, it is very important to meet, to pray and to share together, and to listen to each other. Of course, we would like the pandemic to be behind us – and alas, it is not – but we are all the more grateful to be able to experience these beautiful summer meetings.

I would especially like to thank the speakers who have been leading the workshops during the week of reflection for young people aged 18 to 35: your experiences and testimonies stimulate us and invite us not to be discouraged by the magnitude of the challenges of the moment.

Yes, a great many people are courageously facing multiple challenges at this time. I am thinking of those who have experienced the ordeal of illness, or who have lost a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye. I am also thinking of the caregivers who are so exposed, the hospital staff. And let us not forget, in our prayer, those who exercise responsibilities in public life.

Here at Taizé, we meet many young people who have suffered in the past months from loneliness or who are anxiously wondering about their future. In addition to the suffering linked to the pandemic, many are worried about the climate emergency and the environmental disasters that have multiplied this summer in many places on our planet.

And so many peoples of the world seem to be going through endless trials! Tonight we prayed for the people who are trying to leave Afghanistan these days: yes, let us keep in our prayers those women and men in despair in Kabul. Let us also pray for the beloved people of Haiti who are once again being tested by a severe earthquake, and for other peoples of the world.

In the face of the weariness and confusion of many people, the question comes up: what is the source from which we can draw life? Centuries before Christ, the prophet Isaiah already pointed to such a source when he wrote: "Those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they run without growing weary and walk without getting tired."

This spring has been placed within us. It is up to us to unclog it again and again by striving to put our trust in God; in God’s love which is constantly renewed.

This step of trust can help us to take up everything in our existence: to receive it as a gift and to open ourselves more and more to those who are entrusted to us. Then a turnaround can happen: we no longer live centered on ourselves. By welcoming the presence of God in our hearts, we also prepare the way for God’s coming for many others.

This year, we are reflecting with you on the theme "Hoping in season and out of season". In this message for 2021, you can read this sentence: "Doesn’t believing first of all mean to trust in a presence that is there both in the depths of our being and in the whole universe, elusive and yet very real?"

This presence does not impose itself on us from the outside, even though we may perceive signs of it in the events of our lives and in the people around us. It is a kindly presence that is always there, despite our doubts and even if we feel that we understand very little about who God is.

Brother Roger, who initiated the life of our community more than 75 years ago, often said this: even if we understand very little of the Gospel, we can try to grasp more of it starting from a few words that have become important to us and that we try to put into practice.

And little by little we enter into the confidence of Jesus himself: like him we are children of God, we rely on the one who surpasses all that we can imagine, and yet is there, very close to us. Through his Spirit, he dwells in us. And in this same trust of Christ, we can find a strength of soul that gives impetus to our lives.

After this summer, the pilgrimage of trust will continue. The international meetings will continue in Taizé, and you are always welcome if the health situation allows us to meet together.

At the end of the year, from December 28 to January 1, 2022, we will have our next European meeting in Turin, Italy. Even if it is difficult to say yet what form this meeting will take, we invite you to attend. And the brothers who will be there from September onwards will give us news soon!

The pilgrimage of trust will have a stage in the Holy Land from May 8 to May 15, 2022. This new stage of the pilgrimage of trust is being prepared in collaboration with the Ecumenical Institute of Tantur in Jerusalem and several Churches of the Holy Land.

Next summer, we are already planning two special events in Taizé: from 13 to 17 July 2022, the fifth meeting of friendship between young Christians and Muslims. And from August 21 to 28, 2022, the next week of reflection for 18-35 year olds will take place.

One last word. Lately, we have been thinking about the question "What does God expect from our community in this period of great changes in the world and in the Church?", and the idea came up of sharing more deeply about our life and on our future with a few people outside our community. So two women and two men of different denominational origins and exercising various ecclesial responsibilities have come to stay with us for a "fraternal visit". I entrust this step, which is new for us, to your prayers.

Last updated: 28 August 2021