Each year, Taizé organizes an ecumenical meeting in a European city. Along with many young people, we set out for Ljubljana in Slovenia. Marysia, a young woman who recently joined the Community, travelled with a Polish group taking part in the whole programme. She was hosted by a Slovenian family who gave her accommodation in their own home. L Srs Blazenka, Mira and Sonja-Marija, travelled from Zagreb and took part in the prayer gatherings.
Marysia shares: “I received a real lesson in hospitality and kindness from the family who hosted us as well as from other people who were there. I was very touched by the openness and interest shown by the people we met. In sharing with many of the young people present, I realized that most of us were experiencing a real feeling of “being at home,” being a real part of the family and parish. Through simple relationships, here in the Church, we were “at home”.
In order to not miss all the simple gestures, words and subtle manifestations of the goodness and tenderness of God revealed in daily life, I had to be attentive and listen. Listen to the way the Word of God had become flesh in specific people, in unexpected encounters and especially in the prayer which united us. We were so diverse: those who served, those struggling to find their bearings and those for whom Taize was something familiar. Brother Matthew, the Prior of Taize, wrote in his letter for 2024: « Listening is an act of love » and « when we listen to someone with an open ear , we give them a space to exist. ». I am back from Ljubljana with a desire to make a concrete, daily effort to live love. And even though I may often forget it, I want to live its gentle presence which finds expression in those simple gestures which are within each one’s reach”.
The three of us, Blazenka, Mira and Sonja Marija, stayed with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Their simplicity and warm welcome made us feel completely at home.
More than 5000 young people from 48 different countries and from all different Christian confessions arrived in Ljubljana. Almost 200 came from the Ukraine. There were also young people from Russia, Bielorus, Croatia and many from Poland.
For Slovenia, a small country which is still deeply marked by communism, it was an incredible event that so many young people from such different countries should come together to pray !
Ljubljana is at the crossroads between East and West, between North and South. Praying together was a symbol of our desire to live as a European family in Christ.
It was also a sign of hope for the world in which we live : a sign that collaboration is possible, that we can go beyond our own interests and selfishness, lift our eyes from our smartphone and look at our neighbour’s face to see our brother and sister. We could share our faith experience as well as our doubts, sing and be together for a time of silence.
To end, we would like to leave you with a verse from psalm 36 which was the chant composed by Taizé for this encounter.
L srs Blazenka, Marysia, Mira et Sonja-Marija
Espagnol : https://fmm.org/es/the-fmm-institute/