Review: The Rule of Taize

The Rule of TaizeThe Rule of Taize by Roger of Taizé
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Community of Taize has attracted the attention of many young people searching for an experience of spirituality and connection, an outcome that the Community has helped to achieve for thousands in its over half a century of existence. The Rule of Taize was a much later development in the life of the Community, bringing some focus to the life of a community that was already in existence and which was already living the common life that is the focus of The Rule.

Reading The Rule is not just for members of the Community however. There is much spiritual wisdom and insight to be gained by whoever chooses to read this document, and take the lessons it contains to heart. It is not complicated nor overly prescriptive. It is simple, accessible, yet filled with the spiritual characteristics that make the Community of Taize what it is.

From the back cover:

For more than fifty years, the international ecumenical community at Taize has had an enduring and unparalleled attraction for young adults, whether Christian or not. Its roots go back to wartime France, when a young man, who was to become Brother Roger, settled in the impoverished and largely abandoned village of Taize. He dreamed of beginning a community life of work and prayer among the poor, and quickly found himself looking after Jewish refugees. Later, he and his companions tended German prisoners of war and orphaned children.

The Community became more visible in 1949, when the first seven Taize brothers made a lifelong commitment to monastic life. The Rule of Taize was written by Brother Roger a few years later and has been a reference point for the Community ever since.

After Brother Roger’s untimely death on 16 August 2005 – when he was attacked and killed while praying with more than 2,000 young people – the Community republished The Rule in French and later prepared a fresh translation into English. Although written with the Community in mind, this work of deep insight and broad vision is a mine of wisdom for all those seeking to live in harmony with others and with God.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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