Our interest in community life stems from the experience of staying in the Taizé Community as young volunteers, and it has been confirmed along the way by visits to other communities. One of the things that I long for most in my life is the pattern of regular prayer which calls back to the source and helps to bring matters of daily life into God’s embrace. I already try to follow a pattern, but I look forward to the support and discipline of a group of people committed together to a rhythm of prayer.
We plan for there to be two common prayers daily, one at seven o’clock in the morning and one some time after dinner. When we stayed as guests at the Iona Community, I was impressed by the modern tradition in the Abbey of standing at the end of the morning prayer to say the final words. It was explained that this is so that the worship would flow from the chapel out into the world and that the transition from devotion to work would be more dynamic. Some people might call the desired remaining in a prayerful state mindfulness. If I remember correctly, part of the idea was also that whether we are praying in a chapel or labouring elsewhere, both of these are our gift to God and can be seen as prayer.
If all of us were to start the day by offering ourselves to God’s work, a transformation could start in our hearts and in our communities. It is my hope that as community members make decidedly different life choices based on their values and personal calling, their example may make an impact on others who learn about them.
I sometimes feel hopelessness in the face of indifference to the damage that the human kind inflicts on the environment, different cultures and lives of individuals. My little family tries to follow its convictions and tread lightly on the planet, but sometimes, and this feeling regularly hits me when cycling to work in the wind and hail amidst traffic fumes, I wonder if I can make any difference at all. However, if we can be a part of a community of people who take steps together guided by common principles, such as simplicity and respect for all creation, our voice will be magnified. The result can be greater than the sum of its parts!