Monday, 4 October 2010

A missed opportunity

Sitting at my desk yesterday afternoon, I heard the bells of Taizé ringing. Nothing new, I hear them three times a day every day except Sundays when it is only twice. But it was quarter past four in the afternoon! Any Taizé goer knows that Nothing happens at that time on a Sunday, Our house photographed from Taizéin fact Sunday is dedicated to welcoming new guests and saying farewell to the guests from the previous week. A quick check on the Taizé website revealed nothing exciting, so what was going on? A mystery.

Last week when we visited a client’s home to check on the house, collect their newly issued house number (worthy of a blog in its own right!) and to empty the letter box, we found a magazine called “Le Lien entre Grosne et Guye” . Obviously some local publication (as the next layer up from our commune is the Communauté de Communes entre Grosne et Guye) and we put the magazine on one side eventually to be read or thrown away. A quick flick through revealed an article about Taizé that I wanted to read at my leisure, so the magazine went on to the “to be dealt with” pile. The date at the top of the page of this article must have stuck deep into my subconscious as in the middle of the night, last night, I suddenly thought that this article might give me some insight into the unusual bell ringing.

When he reads this blog, Cees will happily say “you should have read the article when you spotted it!” and on this occasion I will say, “OK you are right” because the little article actually gave details of an open day at Taizé for all the congregations between the river Grosne and the river Guye, The inside of the Taizé churchculminating with a Catholic Eucharist at four thirty. Four thirty must be the time they allocate to visiting groups as it was mid one Thursday afternoon last summer when the Archbishop of Canterbury was visiting that the Anglicans were allowed to hold their Eucharist.

Yesterday the day in Taizé was themed “hospitality”. Hospitality is one of the key elements of the monastic tradition, chapter 53 in Saint Benedict’s Rule concentrates how the role hospitality plays a key part in the Benedictine order and as anyone who has seen anything of the Taizé order will know, the brothers there are no strangers to hospitality themselves, housing and feeding hundreds of thousands a year.

After the morning service up until lunch was taken up to the study of St Luke chapter 10 which contains amongst other things the parable of the Good Samaritan, but in its totality it concentrates on the meaning of hospitality and the reciprocity of that hospitality. Having now read the article, I am very sorry indeed that I missed the day and the next time this magazine falls into my hands, I will read it from cover to cover to make sure I don’t miss anything like this again. Another lesson learnt!

La Tuilerie Website

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