Saturday, 3 October 2009

On Taize and lectio divina.

Taize prayers have meant a lot to me for various reasons for a half of my life now, even though it is a river that I never enter twice.

Yesterday, while praying, or singing, or whatever one may call it, I realised the Taize practice was much like lectio divina. Of course, I had no idea what lectio divina meant 15 years ago, when I first got my taste of Taize in Wroclaw, Poland. But instinctively, I realised even then that the repeating texts somehow penetrate my thoughts, envelope them and then rise above them, taking these thoughts into a prayer, dedicating them to God. Distractions are somehow a very minor problem with a Taize kind of prayer.

What occurred to me yesterday, and what I had no idea of before, is that the practice of lectio divina has exactly the same pattern and purpose - repeating the Word, chewing on it, until it becomes part of you, until it becomes part of your thoughts, the ever-present threads of memory and ideas and realisations. And it shouldn't matter that some of these thoughts have nothing to do with the Word that I medidate on. The whole purpose of the practice is to offer them to God along with everything else, good and bad, to consecrate my whole self by the healing word.

Expressed in words, this all sounds very dry and clinical. I think this is because it is understood by practicing. With the added dimension of music and harmony Taize songs made the practice real and present for those who never felt drawn to institutionalised religion. I could only praise br. Roger's genius...

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