Taizé Leader's New Year Meditation

«The Light of Peace Is for All Human Beings»

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POZNAN, Poland, JAN. 1, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of a mediation given by Brother Alois Loser, the leader of the ecumenical Taizé community, during a night prayer service Thursday. Taizé has gathered some 30,000 young people for a youth conference in Poznan.

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Twenty years ago, the first young adult European meeting in Poland, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, was a celebration of newfound freedom, a time of great joy.

It was a time of enthusiasm; now we are instead in a time of decision and perseverance.

Today, are we thinking enough about the meaning of freedom? Freedom means being able to choose where to set our priorities. Freedom means not giving in to negative tendencies in ourselves. Freedom also enables us to fight against the structures of injustice in our societies.

Freedom also means being able to express our faith. During my recent visit to China with two of my brothers, several people told us about the suffering that their parents or grandparents endured for the faith. Many of you who come from Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe also have parents and grandparents who know what it means to suffer for the faith.

We want to thank God for those Christians who have persevered and remained faithful. Today we can be close to believers in China. They are touched when they learn that at Taizé we pray for them on Friday evenings.

This evening I would like to say a special word to the young people of Poland. You have deep roots in the faith. Across the centuries a tradition has been forged among you which has allowed your people to pass through great trials. Often these roots are linked to your family and the parish where you grew up.

Today you are trying to renew the expressions of faith, and that is good. Outward expressions can change. Sometimes they have to change, so that the light of faith can shine with new luster.

But this search will only succeed if it goes hand in hand with an understanding of the traditions you have received. This is the challenge: to create something new while finding support in tradition. Our small Taizé Community would like to remain alongside you in your searching. We have received so much from your country that we feel compelled to stay linked to you in the direction you are taking.

The light that the children have just lit and that we will share with one another comes from far away: the flame was brought from the grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

This flame of peace and friendship exists to shine for all human beings. And so we cannot accept the fact that in the world inequality is increasing, that only a few benefit from economic prosperity while the vast majority experiences poverty. We want to choose simplicity of life to promote sharing, solidarity, and the responsible use of our planet’s resources.

Yes, the light of peace is for all human beings. This leads us to go forward with our «pilgrimage of trust on earth.» Here are some of the next steps:

Every week next year, the meetings in Taizé will continue. In August, we will honor the memory of Brother Roger: it will be five years since he left us. And it will also be the seventieth anniversary of Taizé.

There will be meetings this year in Portugal, in Sarajevo, and in Norway.

Then, a year from now, we will have a new European meeting. It will take place in a country where it has never been held before. We will hold it from December 28, 2010 to January 1, 2011 in the Netherlands, in the town of Rotterdam.

(in Dutch) For several months now, the preparation has been launched, and with enthusiasm. What a joy to see that all the churches in their great diversity are coming together to try and show a new face of the Church. Thank you to the Dutch!

Our pilgrimage has expanded in recent years through meetings in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Why? Globalization, even with the ambiguities that it involves, gives us new opportunities to express the universality of our communion in Christ.

As was announced a year ago, our fifth young adult Asian meeting will take place in a few weeks in early February, in the Philippines, in Manila. The Filipinos who are here with us assure us that doors and hearts are wide open to welcome those who come.

And after Asia, we will go back to Latin America. From December 8-12, 2010, the second Latin American meeting will be held in Chile, in the city of Santiago.

There are Chileans here with us, the priest in charge of youth ministry in Santiago, Father Galo, and several young people. One of these young Chileans, Claudio, will now say a few words:

(in Spanish) Three years ago, our friends in Bolivia invited us to attend the first Taizé Latin American meeting. Now the pilgrimage of trust on earth will have a new stage in our country. For young Chileans and Latin Americans, it will be an opportunity to strengthen bonds of communion and to renew their commitment to be disciples of Jesus Christ and missionaries of his reign. With great joy we invite you to attend the meeting in Santiago, Chile.

A child: Tonight we greet the young people from Moldova, Armenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Italy and especially the young people from L’Aquila who experienced the earthquake last year.

We also greet those from Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Canada and the United States.

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