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Spiritual Journey/al

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Journey: Death and Life

This is the first of my journal entries for a spiritual journey that I have begun, as part of a short course in Christian spirituality.

Don't worry. Anyone for whom these particular journal entries have no interest will be able to identify them by the title prefix and the 'mood' (see above) and thereby avoid them if you wish.


I want to record how, in the last week, the death of a Christian spiritual leader in France has affected me more that I would have ever imagined.

Brother Roger

Freré (Brother) Roger was the Prior (leader) of the Taizé Ecumenical Community. [* ecumenical = of or representing the whole Christian world; therefore, reaching out to all] (see, or better one of the mirror sites such as this Taize official web 'mirror'.)

So, what does the death of a 90 year old Christian ecumenical (Protestant) monk have to do with me?

Firstly, I have sung 'Taizé songs' for years, and been struck by the peace they engender. So, I have been positively affected by these experiences.

Secondly, I recall seeing him shown during the TV coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II -- I saw the old man in a wheelchair -- and wondering why he was there, until I realised that there was an obvious link between a Christian ecumenical community and the longest serving Pope in a long time.

Thirdly, the knifing to death of a 90 year old in front of a crowd of 2,500 people appears to be so pointless. And, that struck me!

Fourthly, I know some folk here in Canberra who meet as part of the local part of the world-wide Taizé community. They are good folk, and I knew they would be greatly affected, and... I felt that way, too.

If you'd like to know more about the funeral that is to be held at 14:00 in France (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday 23 August 2005, then see funeral details. If you can follow along in French of German, you might like to listen in to the internet coverage.

Fifthly, I was quickly made aware of a commemoration service here at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACCC) on Thursday night, and have decided to attend it.

There are also commemoration services in many cities and you can probably find out about them with a quick search of the internet, or with a phone call to a local headquarters of your favourite Christian organisation.


What do I expect from this?

The first thing to say is that I'll probably tell you in coming weeks.

After that, I expect that I *should* analyse this situation and decide some "outcomes" before the event. That would be 'rational'. Yet, is spirituality rational? And, I don't want a self-fulfilling prophecy, do I? (... because that's not rational, either, is it?)

So, time will tell.


But, a question for you.

Who saw coverage of Brother Roger's death on ANY local media outlet?

You might care to look for coverage of the funeral, then, and if none is available then you might like to ask your media outlet why there was no coverage of either his violent death or his funeral.


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