27 Dec 2011

2012 Letter from Taize - Towards a New Solidarity


For a new solidarity among human beings to spring up at all levels.......courageous decisions are needed.....we do not want to give in to fear and resignation.

And yet a fine human hope is constantly threatened by disenchantment. Economic difficulties which are increasingly burdensome, the sometimes overwhelming complexity of societies, and helplessness in the fact of natural disasters all tend to stifle the fresh shoots of hope.

To create new forms of solidarity, could the time have come to make a greater effort to uncover the wellsprings of trust? No human being, no society can live without trust. When trust has been betrayed, the wound leaves marks that go deep.

....although communication is becoming easier and easier, our human societies remain compartmentalised and fragmented. Walls exist....even within the human heart.

World peace begins in our heart.

To initiate solidarity, we need to go towards others sometimes with empty hands, listening, trying to understand the man or woman who does not think like us........

In the face of poverty and injustice, some end up by revolting or are even tempted by aimless violence. Violence cannot be a way to change society. But we need to listen to the young people who express their indignation in order to grasp the basic reason for it.

In 1989 in East Germany, on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the organisers of street demonstrations asked everyone to carry a lighted candle. One hand was needed to hold the candle, the other to protect it from the wind and so there was no hands free for an act of violence.

There are many people unable to believe in a God who loves them personally. There are many too who with great honesty. ask this question: how can I know if I have faith? Today faith appears as a risk, the risk of trusting. Faith does not mean first and foremost adhering to truths; it is a relationship with God. It calls us to turn towards the light of God.

Far from leading to servility or stifling our personal fulfillment, faith in God makes us free - free from fear, free for a life of service to those whom God entrusts to us.

We are all pilgrims, seekers of truth. Believing in Christ does not mean possessing truth, but letting him, who is truth, take hold of us, and heading towards its full revelation.

"Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives liife a new horizon and decisive direction" - Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas est, Introduction, no. 1.

Many young people today are not content just to refer to Church traditios; to motivate the trusting of faith, personal participation and conviction are indespensable for them.

Martin Luther wrote: "The Christian is a free man, the master of all things; he is not subject to anyone. The Christian is a servant full of obedience; he is subject to all".

Christ does not only belong to the past; he is there for us in each new day.

When we look towards his light in prayer, it gradually begins to shine within us.

Prayer leads us at one and the sametime towards God and towards the world.

The Church is the sign that the Gospel speaks the truth; it is the Body of Christ, animated by the Holy Spirit. It makes the "Christ of Communion" present.

The Christ of Communion did not come to set Christians apart and form an isolated society out of them; he sends them out to serve humankind as a leaven of trust and peace.

Reconciliation with God entails reconciliation among human beings.

Christ destroyed the dividing wall between God's people and the others; all have access to God. Solidarity cannot be limited to one family or nations; it reaches beyond all local and particular interests.

Can we, without imposing anything, journey alongside those who do not share our faith but who are searching for the truth with all their heart?

Is not our response to personal trials, and to those which other people endure, to love still more?

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