Daily Archives: October 19, 2008

Br. Alois of Taize: "People you did not choose…"

I have just been listening to a Vatican Radio interview of Brother Alois, the Prior of Taize. I was very struck by this comment:

“We don’t want to create a movement of young people around Taize but we always tell them “Go to your local church, to your parishes. Why? Because there all generations are together (still) and there you meet people whom you did not choose.”

Two points of connection. Sitting in Mass this morning in my local parish where I have been going for the last 5 years, I was struck by a) how very little any of the liturgy was to my personal liking, b) how I knew about half of the people – many of whom formed part of the wider community in which I live, and c) how much at home I was. Odd that.

The other point is Jesus’ own saying: “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” And I guess being amongst a bunch of people whom I did not choose (and they would reciprocate that they certainly didn’t choose to have ME in their midst – perhaps some of them would even choose NOT to have me if it were up to them!) is a reminder of this.

If you don’t go to your local parish (through the exercise of “choice” – which I think might be at the root of the word “heresy”) you are missing out on something. Not something that you would enjoy, necessarily, but something that God prepared for you and you didn’t turn up to receive.

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