Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Aug 26th, at Angel's Camp Touched by Taize

What a day the Lord has made! I have spent delicious hours today, perched on our deck, with a view of the rolling hils and oaks, surfing through the net, uncovering insightful spiritual inspirations! I'm doing the early prep work for my doctorate papers due next Spring. Googling "spiritual mentoring", wealths of information surfaces. In this state of mind, open to God's direction, it's no wonder that almost everything seems connected and related to my life and studies, right now, right here.

During the past month or so I've been studying the Bhagavad Gita, page by page, always amazed at the correlations between the ancient Vedic scripture and the relatively new 12-step Big Book teachings. Always going within, always connecting with our brothers/fellows.

So, today I came upon the community of Taize... a little village in the heart of the Burgundy region of France. It seems that year by year, more and more people come there to join in the life of the community for a short retreat or to seek the journey in the Christian vocation.

Here is what I've learned: On visiting Taize, one is immediately struck by its cosmopolitan nature. The members of the community and those who are visiting come from different parts of the world. The variety of language and race is immediately obvious; yet the oneness and unity of all is almost tangible. One becomes very much aware of the vastness of the human family and of the links that exist between us. In the community of the peoples of the world, God has chosen to dwell.

and...We belong to each other because we are members of the same body. If part of that body is hurting, we are all hurting; if part of that body is oppressed or downtrodden then we are all oppressed and down-troddened. Our calling is to be present to each other in all the realities of living, just as God is present to us in our humanity.

Roger, the founding brother, teaches his brothers in the Rule to "keep inner silence always, and you will dwell in Christ." He see inner silence as a prerequisite for prayer. In the world of tension and anxiety, where conflict is often the order of the day, he encourages us all to strive after inner silence. Inner silence "makes possible our conversation with God."

"In every person lies a zone of solitude that no human intimacy can fill: and there God encounters us. There, in that depth, is set the intimate festival of the risen Christ. So henceforth, in the hollow of our being, we discover the risen Christ: he is our festival."

"Perfect joy is self-giving. Whoever knows it seeks neither gratitude nor kindness. It is sheer wonder renewed by the sight of the generosity of the Giver of all gifts, material and spiritual. It is thankfulness. It is thanksgiving." The joy which the brothers of Taize seek is the joy that comes from living in the precious present. It is to live in the 'now,' for it is in the present moment that God is loving and saving us. This true joy comes from within and is born out of simplicity of life. To experience this joy the brothers of Taize constantly strive to simplify their model of living.

So, digesting and assimilating this powerful information, reaffirms the power of our "fellowship" and community and the need for going within to the silence of the Divine Principle, God, the Unified Field of Bliss and Love.

As always, I am so grateful!

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