Brother Roger, founder of the community of Taize, near the French village of that same name, began the community during the horrors of the Nazi occupation of most of Europe. He did this at a time the gas ovens were burning at full force, while all of Europe and those in power here in the states were fully aware of the atrocities taking place at that time. The community was instrumental in an "un...derground railroad", of sorts, which secreted many a Jewish child and more than a few adults to freedom. As we all know this was a most dangerous Apostolate. Yet, the Spirit smiled on the community. Sadly, Brother Roger was murdered during services by a woman he would have wanted to be shown mercy as she was delusional and not at all cognizant. As many know, our community is being built on the same ecumenical principles of Taize. We maintain close contact with Br. John, who assumed leadership at the death of Brother Roger. We have adopted the "Rule of Taize" as our standard; yet, we also pay tribute to the Rule of Saint Patrick. Yes! Even St. Patrick wrote a rule, not as lengthy as Benedict. Yet, all three share much in common for a very simple reason. None adds to, nor takes away from, the teachings of our Master Jesus Christ whose heart was as open to the Samaritans, and Gentiles, as it was to His Jewish brethren. (I think this might be one reason His own brother who became the first bishop of Jerusalem, James, did not understand Him completely).
The current form of Taize, it has known two or three, is celebrating its 70th year and is recognized, as it recognizes, he who wears the 'Shoes of the Fisherman" and I wish to share with you a bit of Brother Roger:
“Since my youth, I think that I have never lost the intuition that community life could be a sign that God is love, and love alone. Gradually the conviction took shape in me that it was essential to create a community with men determined to give their whole life and who would always try to understand one another and be reconciled, a community where kindness of heart and simplicity would be at the centre of everything.”
Brother Roger: “God is love alone”
I invite you to download the “Short writings from Taizé” and to incorporate them, or another teaching of your choice, into your daily period of contemplation. It is imperative for us to have a quiet time all alone with Christ each and every day of our lives. How else could we claim to have a relationship with Him if we never meet Him at the foot of the cross?
The writings can be found at this address: