Brother Alois

A call for the reconciliation of Christians


When he left Geneva in 1940 to found the Taizé Community, Brother Roger was motivated by this intuition: for Christians to be ferments of peace in humanity, they cannot put off reconciliation among themselves until later. Many years afterwards, this is how he described his personal journey:

“Marked by the witness of my grandmother’s life, following her I found my own Christian identity by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the Mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.”

This road opened by Brother Roger requires tact; it is demanding. We have not finished exploring it.

In Christ we belong to one another. When Christians are separated, the message of the Gospel becomes inaudible.

How can we respond to the new challenges of our societies, notably that of secularization and of mutual understanding between cultures, unless we bring together the gifts of the Holy Spirit placed in all the Christian families? How can we communicate Christ’s peace to all if we remain separated?

Let us no longer waste so much energy in the oppositions among Christians, sometimes even within our denominations! Let us come together more often in the presence of God, in listening to the Word, in silence and praise:

Once a month or every three months we can invite those who live in our towns, villages or regions to a “vigil for reconciliation”. [1]

To prepare such a vigil, young people can set out and go towards others, to another parish or congregation, to another movement or group, and even invite young people searching for faith.

Then the desire will grow to do together all that can be done. What unites us is more important than what separates us: we need to let this reality shine out by our lives!

An exchange of gifts between the different Christian traditions has already begun. We see in Taizé that, through praying together and in personal encounters, mutual esteem is growing and that such an exchange is occurring naturally.
Some aspects of the Mystery of the faith have been developed better by each Christian tradition.
The Christians of the East have always emphasized the resurrection of Christ that already transfigures the world. Is it not because of this that in past centuries many of them were able to endure decades of suffering? The East has preserved the teaching of the Church Fathers with great fidelity. Monasticism, which it gave to the West, has breathed a life of contemplation into the entire Church. Can Western Christians become more open to these treasures?
The Christians of the Reformation have strongly stressed these Gospel realities: God offers his love freely and unconditionally; by his Word he comes to whoever listens to it and puts it into practice; the simple trusting of faith leads to the freedom of the children of God; singing together allows the Word of God to penetrate us. Are not these values essential for all Christians?
The Catholic Church has kept visible, throughout history, the universality of communion in Christ. It has constantly looked for a balance between the local Church and the universal Church. One cannot exist without the other. A ministry of communion at all levels has helped to maintain unanimity in the faith. Cannot all baptized persons go further in a progressive understanding of this ministry?
Beyond denominations, it is urgent for an exchange of gifts between continents to develop. The Christians of Europe, for example, have much to receive from the Churches on other continents. In return for all that these Churches have received from Europe, today they can communicate to that continent a Gospel freshness.
The witnesses and the martyrs to Christ lead us towards one communion. They nourish our hope and our determination to seek visible unity among all Christians.
Last updated: 7 December 2007


[1Every month the website www.taize.fr (“Prayer and Song”) proposes an outline for such a vigil, as well as a Bible meditation that can introduce a time of sharing after the prayer. It goes without saying that this initiative does not replace worship in one’s own parish or congregation.