Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 5, 2007
Taizé offers youth prayer, song, sharing
Ecumenical weekend immerses youth in peace, simplicity, Jesus' love
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"Instead of letting fear separate us from God, we can use it to cry out to God."
- Bro. Emile
Jesus could have escaped and gone into hiding but he chose to love and to deal with the reality of his time - a reality of darkness and hatred.
"He chose to transform it, not in a magical way, but by his self-giving, by the gift of himself," he noted. At the Last Supper, Jesus' choice to love "opened a space of freedom for us. He overcame the obstacle of darkness by his choice to love."
In our lives, we cannot just copy Jesus, said Emile. "But we can receive that capacity to love that comes from God."
Leah Adams, a 23-year-old Lutheran, attended the Taiz‚ weekend on the recommendation of a friend who had visited the community in France.
Adams said she was captivated by the "gentle, kind spirit of Brother Emile" and by the Taiz‚ prayers and chants, which are short, easy to follow and repetitive. "Being here fills me with peace and calm."
Fang Hu, 25, came from Calgary to the retreat with five of his friends. The Catholic young man attended because it's a good way to celebrate Lent, plus he would like to visit the Taiz‚ community one day.
"I like their simple lifestyle," he said. "Simple is good. I think we should follow this trend."
Taryn Parker, 28, a United Church member who works at the Ukrainian Village, said she attended because she wanted to spend a weekend close to God and away from the distractions of society.
It worked. "I find this very relaxing and calming," she said. "Here, all the distractions are pushed away."
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