Brother Roger Quotes

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Frère Roger (Brother Roger) (Provence, Switzerland, May 12, 1915Taizé, August 16, 2005), baptised Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, also known as Brother Roger, was the founder and prior of the Taizé Community, an ecumenical monastic community.

Roger was born the ninth and youngest child of Karl Ulrich Schütz, a Protestant pastor from Bachs in the Zürcher Unterland (Zürich Lowlands) in Switzerland, and his wife, Amélie Henriette Schütz-Marsauche, a French Protestant woman from Burgundy.

In 1940, he rode a bicycle from Geneva to Taizé, a small town near Mâcon, about 390 kilometres (240 miles) southeast of Paris. Taizé was then in unoccupied France, just beyond the line of demarcation to the zone occupied by German troops. For two years Brother Roger hid Jewish refugees before being forced to leave Taizé. In 1944, he returned to Taizé to found the Community, first as a small quasi-monastic community of men living together in poverty and celibacy.

Since the late 1950s, many thousands of young adults from many countries have found their way to Taizé to take part in weekly meetings of prayer and reflection. In addition, Taizé brothers make visits and lead meetings, large and small, in Africa, North and South America, Asia, and in Europe, as part of a “pilgrimage of trust on earth”.

The spiritual leader always kept a low profile, rarely giving interviews and refusing to permit any “cult” to grow up around himself. Prior to his death, he was due to give up his community functions because of his advanced age and ill-health which had seen him suffer from fatigue and often use a wheelchair.

Brother Roger was awarded the UNESCO prize for peace education in 1988 and wrote many books on prayer and reflection, asking young people to be confident in God and committed to their local church community and to humanity. He also wrote books about Christian spirituality and prayer, some together with Mother Teresa with whom he shared a cordial friendship.

Ecumenical ideals

All his life, Roger devoted himself to reconciling the different Christian churches. He especially addressed Christian youths. Part of his appeal may have been his dislike of formal preaching, while encouraging a spiritual quest as a common endeavor. During a Taizé gathering in Paris in 1995, he spoke to more than 100,000 young people who were sitting on the floor of an exhibition hall. “We have come here to search,” he said, “or to go on searching through silence and prayer, to get in touch with our inner life. Christ always said, Do not worry, give yourself.”

From a Protestant background, Brother Roger undertook a step that was without precedent since the Reformation: entering progressively into a full communion with the faith of the Catholic Church without a “conversion” that would imply a break with his origins. In 1980, during a European Meeting in Rome, he said in St Peter’s Basilica in the presence of Pope John Paul II: “I have found my own identity as a Christian by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.”

When he was still very young, Brother Roger had the intution that a life of community made up of men constantly searching for reconciliation could become a sign. That is the primary vocation of taize to constitute what he called “a parable of communion.”

But monastic life had disppeared from the Churches of the Reformation. So, without repudiating his origins, he created a community which had its roots in the undivided Church beyond Protestantism, and which by its very existence was intrexicably linked to the Catholic and Orthodox tradition.

 Quotes

“A simple prayer, is like a soft sighing, like a child’s prayer, keeps us alert. Has not God revealed to those who are little, to Christ’s poor, what the powerful of this world have so much trouble understanding?”

-Brother Roger

Jesus, your light is shining within us, let not my doubts and my darkness speak to me; Jesus, your light is shining within us, let my heart always welcome your love.

-Brother Roger

Jesus Christ, Love of all loving, you were always in me and I did not know it. You were there, and I kept on forgetting you. You were in my heart of hearts and I was looking elsewhere. Even when I remained far from you, you kept on waiting for me. And the day is coming when I can tell you: Risen Christ, you are my life: I belong to Christ, I am Christ’s.

-Brother Roger

Human beings are sometimes severe. God, for His part, comes to clothe us in compassion. He weaves our live, like a beautiful garment, with the threads of His forgiveness. He buries our past in the heart of Christ and He had already taken care of our future

-Brother Roger

For whoever knows how to love, for whoever knows how to suffer, life is filled with serene beauty.

-Brother Roger

If you knew that God always comes to you…What matters most is discovering that God loves you, even if you think that you do not love God.

-Brother Roger

Sometimes you say to yourself: the fire in me is going out. But you were not the one who lit that fire. Your faith does not create God, and your doubts cannot banish Him to nothingness.

-Brother Roger

“When tirelessly the Church listens, heals and reconciles, it becomes what it is at its most luminous—a communion of love, of compassion, of consolation, a clear reflection of the Risen Christ.” “Never distant, never on the defensive, freed of all harshness, the Church can radiate the humble trusting of faith into our human hearts.”

-Brother Roger

“Christ is communion…He did not come to earth to start one more religion, but to offer to all a communion in God…’Communion’ is one of the most beautiful names of the Church.”

-Brother Roger

“Make the unity of the Body of Christ your passionate concern.”

-Brother Roger

“Jesus, our hope, make us into humble people of the Gospel. We would so much like to understand that the best in us is built up by a very simple trust…Even a child can manage it.”

-Brother Roger

Holy Spirit, enable us to bring peace where there are opposition, and to allow a reflection of God’s compassion to become visible by the lives we lead. Yes, show us how to love and to say it with our life.

You love us, O God, and however poor our prayer is, we seek you with trust. Your love makes us my our hesitation and even our doubts.

-Brother Roger

Jesus our peace, you call us to follow you our whole life long. And so, with humble trust, we understand that you invite us to keep welcoming you again and again.

-Brother Roger

Holy Spirit, even when our words are scarcely able to express our longing for communion with you, your invisible presence dwells within each of us, and joy can be offered to us.

God of mercy, enable us to wait for you in prayer and to welcome the look of love with which you contemplate each of our lives.

-Brother Roger

Jesus, joy of our hearts, you send your Holy Spirit upon us. He comes to reawaken trust within us. Through him, we realize that the simple desire for God brings our soul back to life.

-Brother Roger

Holy Spirit, come and breathe upon the worries that can keep us far from you. And enable us to discover the wellspring of trust places in the depth of our being.

-Brother Roger

God of compassion, through the Gospel we glimpse that you love us even in our moments of intimate solitude. Happy are they who abandon themselves to you in heartfelt trust.

-Brother Roger

Jesus our hope, even when faced with our limits and our need, we want to realize that you love us and what our light always animate the road that leads to you.

-Brother Roger

Holy Spirit, by your continued presence within us, you lead us to give our lives for love. And even if at times we forget you, you send joy upon us.

-Brother Roger

God of love, by the Holy Spirit you are always present. You presence is invisible but you live at the centre of our soul, even when we are unaware of it.

-Brother Roger

Christ Jesus, even when you were overwhelmed with trials, you did not threaten anyone, you forgave, we too would like to be capable of forgiving, while remaining in great simplicity of heart.

-Brother Roger

PRAYERS BY BROTHER ROGER:

O God the Father of all, you ask every one of us to spread love and reconciliation where people are divided. You open this way for us, so that the wounded body of Jesus Christ, your church, may be leaven of communion for the poor of the earth and in the whole human family.

Like your disciples on the road to Emmaus, we are so often incapable of seeing that you, O Christ, are our companion on the way.  But, when our eyes are opened, we realize that you were speaking to us, even though perhaps we had forgotten you.  Then the sign of our trust in you is that, in our turn, we try to love, to forgive with you. Independent of our doubts or even our faith, O Christ, you are always there: your love burns in our heart of hearts.

Christ, you see who I am. You were familiar with the human condition. I do not want to hide anything in my heart from you. You know that I am sometimes pulled in different directions at the same time.

But when my inner being experiences an emptiness, the thirst for your presence remains within me.  And when I am unable to pray, you yourself are my prayer. Jesus, light of our hearts, since your resurrection, you always come to us.  Whatever point we may be at, you are always waiting for us.  And you tell us: Come to me, you who are overburdened, and you will find relief. Amen.  Jesus our peace, you never abandon us.
  And the Holy Spirit always opens a way forward,
 the way which consists in casting ourselves into God as into the depths.
  And astonishment arises:
  these depths are not an abyss of darkness;
 they are God-fathomless depths
 of compassion and innocence.

Come, O Christ, and fill us with quiet confidence; 
 make us realize that your love will never disappear,
 and that to follow you means giving our lives.
  Amen.

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