January 2nd 2022
“Right at the depth of the human condition, lies the longing for a presence, the silent desire for a communion. Let us never forget that this simple desire for God is already the beginning of faith…” (Brother Roger, founder of Taizé)
Song 59 Venite Exultemus.
O Come and let us sing to God-our hope. God’s mercy is forever.
Song 52- Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Come Holy Spirit….
Song 14 Tui amoris ignem.
Holy spirit, come to us…
Psalm 131 : A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
Song 127 : I am sure I shall see the goodness of the Lord
Song 137: Behutte mich Gott: Keep me O God, for I trust in you.
You show me the path of life. With you there is fullness and joy.
Silence and prayer
If we take as our guide the oldest prayer book, the biblical Psalms, we note two main forms of prayer. One is a lament and cry for help. The other is thanksgiving and praise to God. On a more hidden level, there is a third kind of prayer, without demands or explicit expression of praise. In Psalm 131 for instance, there is nothing but quietness and confidence: “I have calmed and quieted my soul … hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.”
At times prayer becomes silent. Peaceful communion with God can do without words. “I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother.” Like the satisfied child who has stopped crying and is in its mother’s arms, so can “my soul be with me” in the presence of God. Prayer then needs no words, maybe not even thoughts.
When they saw the star, the wise men were filled with a great joy. As they entered, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they knelt down and worshipped him.
A poem by Malcolm Guite
The Giver of all gifts asks me to give!
The Fountain from which every good thing flows,
The Life who spends himself that all might live,
The Root whence every bud and blossom grows,
Calls me, as if I knew no limitation,
As if I focused all his hidden force,
To be creative with his new creation,
To find my flow in him, my living source,
To live as if I had no fear of losing,
To spend as if I had no need to earn,
To turn my cheek as if it felt no bruising,
To lend as if I needed no return,
As if my debts and sins were all forgiven,
As if I too could body forth his Heaven.
O Christ, Son of God, you were before the world began, and you came to earth to save us all: make us generous with the gifts you have given us.—Lord, we bless your Name!
You became a little child and were laid in a manger: renew in us the simplicity of childhood.—Lord, we bless your Name!
King of glory, you accepted your Father’s will: give us hearts which are open to the Good News of His kingdom. —Lord, we bless your Name!
You became our living bread and gave us eternal life: gladden our hearts by your Eucharist. —Lord, we bless your Name!
Friend of the weak and outcast, you gave healing and comfort to those who were struggling: be a light in their darkness and give them your peace, the peace which passes all understanding. Lord, we bless your Name!
Our Father -The Lord’s Prayer (in sign language)
Christ Jesus, inner light, in this Christmas season you send your peace upon us; it is kindness; it leads to a change in our lives. And then an inner voice arises in us, and that voice is already our prayer. If our lips keep silent, our heart speaks to you and listens to you. In this way, the will of your love is accomplished within us Lord, we bless your Name!
Song 5- Bless the Lord my Soul:
Song 10- Laudate Dominum, omnes, gentes,
Sing, praise and bless the Lord. Peoples, nations! Alleluia
Lord Christ, son of the Virgin Mary, we call you by name. And we ask you to bless each one of us as you receive our prayer, entrust everything to you and rejoice in what you accomplish in each one of us.
Final song for Christian Unity
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. There is one Lord who is Father of all
Letter for the Year 2022 by Brother Alois
Becoming Creators of Unity
Helping unity to grow, creating bonds between people: this is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
The present day is characterized by contradictory developments.
On the one hand, humanity is becoming more and more aware how interconnected and linked it is to the whole of creation. The pandemic has made us realize once again that we are one human family; we undergo certain hardships all together and we can only overcome them together.
On the other hand, the world is becoming increasingly polarized socially, politically and ethically. This leads to new riﬅs in societies, between countries
and even within families. Christians are not immune to these antagonisms. Between Churches, and even within them, differences are hardening and turning into divisions, at the very moment when our witness to peace, in all our diversity, would be vital.
In some countries today, these antagonisms are coupled with an immense loss of trust in Christian communities caused by the revelation of sexual assault and spiritual abuse committed in them. Many people have seen their trust betrayed.
At Taizé, as elsewhere, in recent years we have been undertaking a process of working through the truth concerning these serious questions. And we wish to do all we can so that Taizé may be a safe place for every person. The Church is called to be a place of friendship for all. For this purpose, a radical conversion is necessary today out of faithfulness to the Gospel message. Christ, by his love that went to the point of self‐giving, opened a new wellspring from which we can draw the energy to live as brothers and sisters, to promote the dignity of every human being, and to take care of creation. Christ asks us to be, by our brotherly and sisterly communion, the sign that he came to unite all human beings in God’s love.
I would like these proposals for 2022 to invite us to question ourselves: what role can we play to help unity grow in the human family and with all of creation, with those close to us, in our Churches and communities, and even in our own hearts?
Brother Alois, the Taize community