As we continue our Year of Prayer at St. Josaphat Parish, the month of January is devoted to learning meditative prayer. Many people associate meditation with non-Christian or eastern religions. So it is important to distinguish what we mean by meditation.
Catholic meditation seeks to use the faculties of the mind to know the Lord, understand his love for us, and to move into deeper union with him. Use of the mind "is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ." (Catechism, 2708)
Christian meditation immerses us in the Trinity: we surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the master of prayer, so that he can unite us to Christ and perfect our prayer to the Father.
This month we will have an opportunity to experience a popular form of meditative prayer known as Taizé. Our Taizé service will be on
Thursday, January 24th at 7pm in the church.
What is Taizé? "It is a time to rest in God, to let the words listened to and sung penetrate one's being." - Br. John, a Taizé monk.
At a Taizé service the church is dimly lit, quiet and still. There is a soft and inviting light brought forth by the candles for the service and those being held by people in attendance. The service consists of reflective music and chants, readings and time for silence and quiet prayer. The most important aspect is the silence. To just sit and be with God as we open our hearts to Him in prayer.
Taizé prayer is the creation of a monastic community in Taizé, France, founded in the 1940s by a Swiss man known as Br. Roger. It was initially begun to foster ecumenism between Catholic and Protestant communities. But it has grown in popularity and spread around the globe.
St. John Paul II visited theTaizé community in France and said: "One passes through Taizé as one passes close to a spring of water...the traveler stops, quenches his thirst, and continues on his way...[the community] wants, in prayer and silence, to enable you to drink the living water promised by Christ, to know his joy, to discern his presence, to respond to his call, then to set out again to witness to his love and to serve your brothers and sisters."
I hope you will be able to join us for this beautiful night of prayer and meditation. Please mark your calendars and save the date for our Taizé Prayer Service on January 24th at 7pm.