Friday, January 31, 2014

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

File:Taizé prayer.JPG

About a decade ago I visited the ecumenical Christian community called Taize in France. My stay was longer than many at two weeks, and one week of that time I was in the Silence House, for a deeper retreat. It was still nothing compared to son Isaac, who was living there at the time. He spent eight months at Taize and another four at Grandchamp in Switzerland.   Grandchamp follows the Rule of Taize but it is a very different experience because guests come by the thousands to Taize. while Granchamp is much quieter.

Ike was twenty-one and was seriously considering a monastic vocation. As some of you know, daughter Emily's 17-year-old's wry comment was "great: I'll have a father who is a father, and a brother who's a brother."

Isaac is now a United Church minister, married, and a dad. His family does live a relatively simple life, which is rooted in faith, commitment to a lighter ecological footprint, and with a "monk in the world" ethos.

In the video below Isaac offers thoughts for the Sunday School teachers of his congregation, as help in their preparation for this week when they will be "larnin'" the kids about the Beatitudes, Jesus' counter-cultural manifesto.

I think it's rather good, but I am his Pa after all. It is a reminder that we are called to a radically different life in Christ.

Are you comfortable with the simplicity of your life as a Christian? Often I'm not. Do our individual efforts really matter?


Judy Mcknight said...

I think our individual efforts matter in small ways - but they may be big ways to the recipients of our efforts! That is all that matters.

Judy Mcknight said...

PS - From what I have seen so far, I think you and "Ma" should be very proud of soon Isaac.

roger said...

I was getting interested in Taize, until I read the part about thousands of visitors a year. I suddenly had visions of DisneyWorld.

I would like to stay at a Silence House for a little while....say 8 or 10....YEARS, and have only about a dozen visitors a decade. That's more my style.

David Mundy said...

Actually, I went in February and while there were hundreds of visitors (rather than the thousands of the summer) there was plenty of opportunity for silence and solitude. The countryside is beautiful, even at that time of year, and the worship and the silence house were wonderful.