Bro. Roger Schutz and his community of brothers at Taizé, France, have long been wondering why more and more young people—the world over—take part less and less in prayer in churches, or even, not at all. Why are they (or we) often bored when attending a worship service that is in a parish church? Why is passive attendance rather than active participation the going habit, if indeed, our churches are better than empty?
The community of Taizé, of course, addressed this reality long ago, and today we read of the thousands of young people who travel to Taizé from all parts of the world. They want to experience what the brothers experience, viz., that hearts are changed as the rhythm of prayer, song and silence lead one into the depths of contemplative prayer. Indeed, it seems to be the reverse of 13th century Francis of Assisi’s advice to “build a church and the people will come.” Here at Taizé, the community of brothers seems to create a longing in the worshipers who then become “church”.
Common prayer—whether the Liturgy of the Hours, the Eucharist, or the Rosary -- can be the place where God speaks to our hearts and where God continues to lead us, to sing within us, or to be the silent Listener as we walk the halls, sit at our desks, bake the bread, wipe the tears from a child’s face.
Please come to join us in our Oratory—morning, noon or evening. Together we will find God and be made whole so that we can go on living sensitively in our world! Perhaps you would like to start in November when we seem especially connected with that other part of the church: our brothers and sisters, parents and friends, already in Glory. They, too, can teach us how to pray in common with our sisters and brothers here in Sacred Heart Chapel/Oratory.
Renée Domeier, OSB