The Taize Community is an ecumenical monastic order founded by a Swiss cleric named, Brother Roger. Initially, Brother Roger provided care for refugees during World War II. Following the war, though, he began the community to continue the work of reconciliation and healing among wounded people.
While working in New York, Peg and I became connected to the small cluster of Taize Brothers living in Hell’s Kitchen. They had purchased a building from the City of New York for $1 and managed it as a low income housing alternative for people deprived of prosperity. The brothers brought a presence of peace to a neighborhood of conflict.
We often would join the brothers in Hell’s Kitchen for prayers. Prayers were grounded in silence and meditation. We sang chants and listened to scripture. Then we prayed for the world, always focusing on the needs of others and not our own. It’s one of my fondest memories of our time in New York.
Our camp community conducted daily Taize prayer services in the deep woods of the Delaware River Valley. The woods lent themselves to a sense of peace. Prayers in Manhattan, though, needed to interrupt the world of commerce, crime and constant movement. Yet, peace always descended upon us and filled the room as we prayed.
In today’s reading, Matthew 10: 7-15, Jesus sends his disciples out into the world. He tells them when they enter a house that is worthy to “let your peace come upon it.” Worthiness is determined by a heart willing to allow peace to come upon it. In a world of commerce and conflict, take a brief moment of silence and let peace come upon you. Discover why it is the kind of peace that heals.