This is the story of my pilgrimage to Taize and subsequent spiritual awakening
|As I knelt there in the Church of Reconciliation in the little village of Taize in France, I wondered how and why it should all have come to this.
I had travelled to this Christian Community in search of a miracle.
At 28 years of age, when I should have been at the very peak of my physical and mental capabilities, I was a pitiful wreck of a human being.
Every type of therapy seemed to have been explored and exhausted.
So here I was, profoundly lost and searching for the 'something' which would give meaning and purpose to my life.
I sensed that this would be the last throw of the dice. If nothing happened here, in this place of Spiritual Intensive Care, then there would be no point in prolonging the agony and death would surely be a blessed release.
It was the first week of my visit and I spent most of my time in silent prayer and meditation. At least three times each day I visited the Church where I was inspired by the wonderful Taize Chanting.
On the afternoon in question, I knelt in silence before a large image of the crucified Christ.
It had been a long road and my frustration finally found expression. Acutely aware of the tragic absurdity of my circumstances I felt I had arrived at a point of no return.
Pleading prayers were of no consequence now.
“There is no God. There is no help. There is no hope. There is only me and the madness”.
It was a heartfelt expression that didn't leave a lot of wriggle room. I had finally spoken a perceived truth that I had hitherto avoided because I knew that, once uttered, it could not be unspoken. So, what now? The end?
Suddenly, in my mind's eye, I was shown the totality of the wreckage of my life. It was as breathtaking as it was undeniable - utterly smashed and utterly broken.
Next, I was given to understand that, alone, I was totally incapable of repairing the damage that I had done to myself and to others.
Finally, it was made clear to me that if I would surrender what was left of my will and my life to the creator and sustainer of all life, then I could and would be restored to a state of being better than anything I had previously known.
At this point, I broke down and sobbed. I sobbed until the ground where I knelt was wet with my sobbing.
Something had changed. A major and hitherto missing piece of the jigsaw of my being had suddenly fallen into place.
All at once, I felt a peace, strength, courage and compassion flowing through me, clearly and inexplicably.
Now at last, I was fit for purpose and my life began to unfold in strange and wonderful ways