Friday, August 19, 2005

A Most Unlikely Murder Victim

In a world filled with violent, controlling leaders whose enemies are just as violent, it seemed terribly ironic that the gentle and beloved "Brother Roger" of the France-based Taize community would be a murder victim. He died at Taize, an ecumenical community of Christians, when a mentally disturbed woman snuck up during prayers and slit his throat.

Christianity Today's WEBLOG posted the moving prayer of a fellow Taize member, Brother Francois:

In the Bible, we find these words: "Costly in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his friends."

This death of Brother Roger is costly first of all for all of us, and terribly so. Death is like something being torn away, and a violent death even more so. And even when this death is caused by an unbalanced person, there is a feeling of unfairness, that can even lead to a sense of hopelessness.
In the face of violence, we can respond only by peace. Brother Roger never stopped insisting on this. Peace requires a commitment of our whole being, inwardly and outwardly. It demands our whole person. So this evening, let us communicate peace to one another, and do everything we can so that each person stays in hope.
These words from the Bible say that this death is costly not only to us. It is costly to God. God himself participates in our sorrow. He is suffering with us. This is how God feels "the death of his friends," as the text says.
And Brother Roger was certainly a friend of God. From the beginning, he used all his strength so that we should understand that God loves us with a love that has no end, a love that excludes no-one, a love that accepts us as we are, a love that has no limits.
And if it is true that this death means a sorrow that touches God himself, we would like to do everything to express to him our gratitude, our thankfulness for all that Brother Roger has been among us.
WEBLOG has more links about Taize, Brother Roger, and his death.

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