Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Pondering Pages/Brother Roger-Taize'
Joining with Lara at Holy Mothering in a weekly book review.
I have been expanding my horizons a bit and learning about Taize' in the past few weeks. I had attended a Taize' prayer service at my parish last spring and loved it! The church was dark except for multiple candles, there were icons everywhere and the service itself was a combination of chants, scripture readings and lovely silence. I can't wait to go to another Taize' service! In the meantime, I have been conversing with my friend from La Vie Graphite who is knowledgeable in Taize' and have been reading a few books written by Brother Roger Schutz who began the movement of Christian unity in the 1940's. Taize' is a village in France in which this prayer form originated. In my quest for knowledge, I have read two short and easy to read books by Brother Roger during this past week.
Seeking the Heart of God was co-written by Brother Roger and Mother Teresa. It is a beautiful little book of side by side reflections on the same topics. Some beautiful quotes from this book:
"Self-knowledge puts us on our knees." Mother Teresa
"Christ offers himself in the Eucharist, adorable presence, it is there for you who are destitute. It is received in a spirit of poverty and repentance of heart, with the soul of a child, until the very evening of your years...In remaining before the Eucharist for long periods of time, many people have let themselves be penetrated down to the very depths of their being. For all who consent to a long process of maturation, little by little their inner self is built up, without their knowing how. And by prayer that is always simple, they are somehow drawn toward Christ." Brother Roger
And from Unity: Man's Tomorrow by Brother Roger...
"Always we must learn to see the Christian we meet with the eyes of Christ, to reflect on the best God has given to the other man-for is that not Christ himself? This gaze prepares us to respect and to love the catholic brother and at the same time to discover in him the unsuspected riches that God himself has given."
"We have to look at ourselves in the light of Christ. Rather than allowing ourselves to stop because there is something bad in us, inabilities, darkness, shadows-there always will be such things-we must know how to put down all this burden by making use of confession, and having received absolution, we live by it immediately."
Finally, I was struck by the fact that this little gem of a book had not been taken off of the library shelf and checked out to a reader in many, many years. So I had to write a little reflection about that:
Words of the Brother
Curious seeker opens the book
that had remained on the shelves for over forty years-
February 7, 1964-
last date stamped inside the back cover.
Within the pages, treasures of wisdom step out to new life.
Tired, worn eyes begin to glimmer with light,
heart begins to burn a little stronger.
Forgotten words beckon to the child inside,
the child who is eager for
knowledge of yesterdays
that can lead to a peace-filled tomorrow.
(For more check out The Dreamer's Day to read about Squelly's recent experience in Taize'.)