Sermon preached in James Chapel at Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY
Commemoration of the Transfiguration, 2004
Three times, every day, the bells ring, and about a hundred monastic brothers (and a handful of neighboring sisters) enter the Church of the Reconciliation to pray. Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox, they have come from around the word to this tiny village of Taize in the south of France. Their calling is to live a parable of communion – in simplicity of life and a spirit of trust. Every week, especially in the summer, the brothers welcome young people by the hundreds and sometimes thousands, into their rhythm of work, study, prayer, and fellowship.
The young people all arrive on buses that wind through the French country roads, past the ancient monastery at Cluny, through fields full of sunflowers, far as the eye can see. They come seeking a meaning and purpose for their lives, seeking a spirituality that’s for real, seeking a glimpse of God. Many come every year, and as the buses reach the top of the hill, you can often hear singing through the windows – Bless the Lord my soul, Ubi Caritas, Laudate Omens Gentes.