This was the Saturday midday meditation delivered by Brother Alois at the Taizé meeting at Kolkata:
All of us gathered here together would like to prepare ways of peace. But many people across the world experience situations of conflict or injustice. How can we respond to violence with peace? How can we prepare a future of peace for children? How can avoid passing on to the next generation wounds endured?
It is essential for us to listen to these words of the prophet Jeremiah: “God is preparing for you a future of peace.” God is the one who gives peace; we must first receive it in order to communicate it. And receive it in the depths of our being.
This peace given by God begins in our heart, and it can transform our life. Inner peace is not first of all a feeling that we try to produce within ourselves. Peace is born in our heart through the presence of someone who loves us, the Risen Christ. He passed through violence, hatred and death. And after this he said, “Peace be with you.” It is good to let these words echo within us.
Christ is our peace. So it is up to us to take courageous decisions to dare and follow him on the road of peace. What we can do is often very little, but we have to do that little. It is not so much spectacular actions that change the world, but rather persevering day by day in human goodness.
If, in the Church, our youth groups, our communities and our parishes could be first and foremost places of heartfelt goodness and forgiveness! Places where we welcome one another, where we attempt again and again to understand and support others, places where we are attentive to the weakest. What joy that would bring!
During the recent conflict in the Middle East, a young Lebanese man, the father of a family, wrote us these words: “Peace of heart, that topic so dear to Brother Roger and to all the brothers of Taizé, is possible. Yes, peace of heart is not a utopia. In spite of the suffering, in spite of the hatred that escalates day after day, in spite of the desire for vengeance that wells up in us in moments of weakness, I believe in that peace. Yes, peace here and now.”
To open ways of peace and trust, Christians have a specific gift. The communion of the Church, the profound charity that unites those who follow Christ is already a unique ferment of peace in the human family.
It is the communion among us Christians that makes the Gospel credible. It brings the Word of God to life and allows it to speak to people today. In a world where violence and disenchantment attempt to gain the upper hand, through our communion we can give a sign that shines out even in the most difficult situations.
Unity among Christians is never automatic. We must always begin again to live in mutual forgiveness. When we turn together to Christ, when we consent to come together for a common prayer in his presence, he already unites us. Humbly, in prayer, we constantly learn that we belong to one another.
Today more than ever we have the possibility of living a communion beyond the frontiers that separate peoples, races and generations. Yes, we can prepare a future of peace on earth. God gives us his breath, his Spirit, so that we can be witnesses to peace by the lives we lead.