terça-feira, 3 de novembro de 2015

Taizé: Finding Peace And Happiness

Hey! For a really long time I was looking for a topic that could fit as the "first" post in this blog, not that I won't post some random and funny stuff but I needed something that was "really good" to start off. Therefore, after thinking a lot about this I decided to share my experience in Taizé with you guys! 
First of all, I believe that most of you don't really know what "Taizé" is or even where is it. But don't worry, some months ago I was in the same position as most of the people that are reading this.
Taizé is a small village in Burgundy, France and in this wonderful place, surrounded by a delightful countryside view, we can find The Taizé Community. Which is composed by more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from all around the world. This ecumenical monastic order welcomes practically all year those who seek it by organizing weekly meetings involving thousand of young people from different parts of the world.

But what about the history of this place?

The founder of The Taizé Communty was Roger Schütz (more known as Brother Roger) that moved to France during the Second World War and settled on this place aiming to help other people, more specifically, the refugees. Therefore, the community continued to grow and became a place of refuge and peace for so many people, basing their values in trust and love. Of course there is much more to know about this place, specifically about the death of Brother Roger and how the community coped with that, but you can find all the information here!

I learned about this wonderful place from a teacher at my school during one of our classes and after discovering all this information about this community I immediately felt that I had to visit it.
After several weeks trying to raise money we planned everything and embarked on a 24-hour trip. To be honest, it was a lot of fun going from Portugal to France and stopping in some gas stations at 5 in the morning eating totally random food with my friends.
However, the most exciting part was to arrive to Taizé. Until that moment, I barely had believed that we were doing that trip. Of course this wasn't about faith because I had no religious reasons for being there, but just by imagining that I would be in contact with people from all over the world and experience different cultures, it was like a dream coming true. 
Also, about people from all around the world - what most caught my attention about this place was that being an ecumenical community it would accept people from various religions and places, with no restrictions. Isn't this wonderful? Have you ever imagined a place where religion didn't matter? Where the base of everything would be compassion and trust? No matter from where you were you would feel like the most welcomed person above earth and, it would be like you were really at home, even though your "real" home was kilometers away from you. You know that expression "It was like heaven on earth"? Well, I don't believe in heaven or hell but Taizé was a true paradise.
All the people there were helping each other and that was the spirit, to live in a community you should take care of each other. And I truly think this is one of the most important values. I must even say that I didn't met anyone who had difficulties to adapt to this way of living, to this place. It was like we were already there for years.

"The Lake Of Silence" in Taizé
Society talks a lot about the youth being too connected to new technologies nowadays but, for example, in Taizé we had the opportunity to buy some cards for the internet but none of us did. Being so busy meeting new people and doing our tasks no one had time or wanted so spend it on the internet. I remember that I hardly picked up the phone except to talk to my family or take some photos. Even in relation to the food, it was simple and quite good, I mean, we ate everything with a spoon and only drank water. Honestly, just with the "basic" things I felt happier than ever and I realized that a lot of the things we use on our "everyday life" are totally indispensable.

Finally, I must confess that I made the best friends of my entire life. I met wonderful people and I felt more love than ever. Of course I have a amazing friends here in Portugal, but it was fantastic to find out how strong could become a friendship in so little time. I remember that our teacher told us about the "Pilgrimage Of Trust" and that we would eventually understand what this meant. Our rooms, for example, had no lock in the door and all of our things were in there but we knew that nothing bad would happen, no one would steal anything. Is like you knew you could trust people, that everything would be fine. In fact, I felt safer than ever and I trusted this friends that I made in a week more than some people that I knew for years.
Of course. not everyone will understand this and they are probably going to call me crazy and some other stuff but I don't really care. I'm aware of my experience and I'm so happy that I went to that place. I hope that everyone can experience this someday and that this text wasn't to boring. Thank you so much for reading it! 

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