They are on their way to Rome, they are many thousands, and they bring hope.
They sing and pray and walk. For decades
they have engaged in building a more Christian and human world, through
dialogue and respect.
They are the young people, also joined by the
adults and the families, who are nourished by the monastic community of
A community that took its shape in the heart of France thanks to
the intuition of Brother Roger Schutz during the dark World War years,
and that today continues its journey.
The faith of the young and the
need for unity, spirituality in the post-modern world, and the prophecy
of forgiveness; these are the horizons of the young people who are
preparing to celebrate the pilgrimage of trust on earth (December 28th - January 2nd) planned in Rome, with tens of thousand of young people who will meet Benedict XVI.
To narrate and explain what inspires this inner
search and commitment in favour of humanity, a great book by Brother
Alois of Taizé has been published: Pilgrims of trust. The journey of communion followed by Taizé,
published by the Editrice Missionaria Italiana, which describes "a
beautiful experience of Christian friendship" as the Pope said on Sunday
during the Angelus.
The book talks about the desire for spirituality,
the need for listening, and the hunger for trust that young people, whom
he met during his experience as a monk, testify at every latitude.
the new book, Brother Alois of Taizé, who has been the guide of the
ecumenical community since the death of the founder Brother Roger
(2005), addresses, on different levels which range from the historical
perspective to the spiritual advice, the call for a more radical
Christianity and for a fruitful dialogue between the faith and the
Silence, listening to the Word of God, common
prayer, service to the poor, commitment toward reconciliation: these are
the "pillars" of the spirituality of Taizé which are described in the
book anchoring them to the Scriptures and to the undivided Christian
tradition, which goes back to the great witnesses of the faith.
In the book, Alois also offers many practical
ideas to those who are willing to practice an eloquent Christianity in
"Develop networks of mutual assistance; stimulate an economy
of solidarity; welcome immigrants; understand different cultures
from within; awaken twinning between towns, villages, and parishes to
help those in need; use new technologies consciously to create support
Based on the thinking of Brother Roger, who wanted
Taizé as a place of prophecy for the unity of Christians, Alois (German
by birth, French by language) recalls the unbreakable bond between
Taizé and the Council.
"What we experience in Taizé today would be
unthinkable without the reality of the Council. More personally, if, as a
Catholic 16-year-old boy, I could go to Taizé in 1970 and deepen my
faith with Christians of different denominations, it was as a result of
the Second Vatican Council".
Returning from the recent Synod on the New
Evangelization, where he was as "special guest" of the Pope, Alois
recalls the great intellectual friends of Taizé: the Orthodox theologian
Olivier Clément, for whom "the insistence of Brother Roger on the love
of God has marked the end of the period characterized by the fear of a
God who punishes"; the protestant philosopher Paul Ricoeur, who already
wrote about the community in 1947, a few years after its founding; the
very close connection with several Popes: John XXIII who was, according
to Brother Roger, "the founder of Taizé"; John Paul II, "on whose words
delivered at Taizé (1986) we cannot cease to meditate"; and Pope
Benedict XVI, who will pray with the young people and the community in
Rome on the 29th of December.
Like Ratzinger, Brother Alois also sees the risk
of an eclipse of the faith in our era. "Today the faith in God is very
often questioned, especially in the western world. The simple thought
that God exists seems to become more difficult".
But in response to this
situation, Christians have the task, emphasizes Brother Alois, to
re-launch their testimony of life and hope. It is up to them to reaffirm
that "every human being is sacred to God. Christ has opened his arms to
gather all of humanity in God". Furthermore, the new generations are
called to "assert that the life of fraternity introduced by Christ is a
reality already possible today. We want to experience now what to human
eyes does not seem possible, because we know that nothing is impossible