Napa Valley Taize

Easter season

Have you noticed along with the late rains during this season of Easter,  the new growth has bolted throughout the valley?   I've been thinking of the growth as a kind of mirror in which I might be able to see myself growing in like manner. Like this: I've observed how the poppies have clumped and covered the fields alongside the roads. And I've marveled and wondered how it is that the poppies become so orange, and so profuse? Have you ever looked deep inside to the center and seen the yellow, and white and black there? And then, I  wonder, what is unique about my particular gifts of colorations, how as I reflect upon my center, I observe what may have been some of my areas of growth? I've tried it on for a few weeks, and it's a fun exercise. To think of Mother Nature as a mirror of ourselves. A rather simple exercise but an encouraging one. To imagine ourselves with seasonal changes, interior and dark in the winter; growing, light and green in the Spring, blossoming in the Summer, and shedding old used baggage in the Fall. In so doing we see that in every season we grow daily toward the light  and the changes begin to make a difference in how we look and feel.

This season's Taize prayer has been really sweet for me as I think of Judy's hands delivering scriptural sermons, Charles' oboe soaring to the rafters, while Ron's and Esther's Mandolin gently accompanies. We are blessed to pray and walk the labyrinth in a chapel dedicated to the prayer life of faith that is as simple as possible. The sung prayer is an invitation to a search that draws us onwards beyond ourselves, that, by placing on our lips words from another age, gently invites us to empty. In another way the repetition of the songs may be a kind of turning the scriptural text around and around in all directions so that they may be illuminated by an unexpected light and emerging feelings, says Brother Roger of Taize.

By unifying the feelings, he says, the heart is the place from which good intentions can arise like purified water. Prayer as vigilance, awakening, and listening enables us to concentrate, to re-center our own desires and to synchronize them with love. Prayer is that preparation of the heart to be attentive to the vigilance that love requires in different situations.

Through singing and silence, people discover they are able to have new hearts, simple hearts in the original meaning of the term, one that is stripped to its essentials, a heart that remains close to its desires, and in this way discovers more clearly how God calls it to be creative. Like discovering ourselves in the beauty of the places we live.

Thank you to each one of you who continues to show up every other first Friday, to the readers, the musicians, and all of you who come to join and pray in our community. We are truly blessed.
Have a wonderful summer, and we'll see you all back here October 3.