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Br. Roger of Taize is slain.

I met Br. Roger in 1995 and have read many of his books and letters. Evening Prayer at Taize was truly a memorable event. Also a time in my mind that will endure...hearing confessions in English from 3:00pm to 7:00pm and then again from 10:00pm till 2:00am. I also had the opportunity to preside at the morning Catholic Mass.

I cannot imagine the sadness at Taize at the moment. I am sure that his witness shall endure.

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I was truly appalled that such violence should come into a place so completely dedicated to peace. According to the French press, the woman involved had a long history of mental instability. At the risk of sounding like a nut myself, it seems to me that the demons of madness are often drawn to very holy people to destroy them.

There was a very special tribute to him yesterday at the Welcoming Ceremony for World Youth Day. Apparently Brother Roger had a special invite from Pope Benedict. He shall be missed.

By no means as high profile as Taize, several years ago there was a shooting rampage at my alma mater - Conception Abbey. The assailant (quite likely a mentally disturbed man) entered the (empty) Abbey Basilica shortly after the monks had completed Lauds. He set a box down on the back pew, produced two firearms and proceeded to enter the cloister and headed down the corridor. In the end he killed two monks - both very holy men - and injured two others. Afterward, the poor soul took his own life while seated in the back pew of the Basilica (which has since been re-consecrated). To say the least I was shocked when this happened. Whether at Conception or Taize, such incidents speak to us about the reality of evil in the world.

May he rest in peace.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on August 16, 2005 8:23 PM.

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