October Taizé: St. Francis of Assisi, Lover of Creation

October is the month of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was an enthusiastic, charismatic, and worldly young man, born in 1181 to a wealthy cloth merchant of Assisi. When he reached his early 20s, Francis underwent a series of experiences that caused him to reject his father’s wealth and position, become a hermit, an itinerant preacher, and founder of three religious orders.

In 1205, Francis was praying before the crucifix in the old, deteriorating church of San Damiano when he heard Christ speak to him from the cross saying, “repair My house.” At first, Francis thought this meant to rebuild the buildings, but he eventually came to realize that Christ’s command was to bring the People of God back to the faith.

Francis had a deep love for nature and for God’s creatures, especially birds. It is said that he could speak to birds and command their obedience. He also had a deep love for Christ. Late in his life, Francis received the Stigmata, the imprint of the wounds of Christ on his own body.

There are different opinions on St. Francis of Assisi. Some regard him as a madman or a fool. Others as one of the greatest examples of how to live the Christian ideal since Christ himself.

When St. Paul speaks of the “foolishness of God” he is not implying that God is foolish. He is saying that since God’s way of reason is in accord with things of the Spirit, it confounds the reasoning of this world. It is wiser than human reasoning, because spiritual things are wiser than carnal ones.

Download a program for the service here: Taizé Service Worship Aid for Oct. 6, 2022.

The event will be live streamed for our many friends who cannot be with us physically.

What is Taizé?

Taizé prayer is practiced throughout the world. It is a meditative candle-lit form of community prayer that includes simple chants sung repeatedly, silence and prayers of praise and intercession. In prayer, we enter the silence, stilling the mind, opening the heart, surrendering to the action of the Spirit ever molding us into the image of Christ. The candles used in the service symbolize the presence of the risen Christ, who conquered darkness and sin and offers new life to all humankind.

Taizé Prayer comes from an ecumenical, monastic community in France and has spread to numerous spots around the world.

From the depths of the human condition, a secret aspiration rises up. Today many are thirsting for the essential reality: an inner life, signs of the Invisible. Nothing is more conducive to communion with the living God than meditative common prayer. When the mystery of God becomes tangible through the simple beauty of symbols, when it is not smothered by too many words, then a common prayer awakens us to heaven’s joy on earth.

All the videos of our Taizé prayer services are available here.

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