On August 14, I took the road around 6:00 p.m. to go to Oran to participate in the week-long Taizé Tlemcen session. I arrived in Oran late at night to continue to Tlemcen in the morning. I was well received by our sisters in the community of Oran. On August 15, I went to Tlemcen with Sr. Jeanne d’Arc, Sr. Clémentine and a friend of our Sisters from the community of Oran. It was a great joy for me to be with them. We arrived in Tlemcen at noon and joined the others for the Eucharistic celebration. It was a beautiful celebration animated by good songs in different languages. It was only a beginning and an opening of joy that accompanied us throughout the week by deepening the life of Taizé. We were about 70 in number. They were students, monks, nuns and a couple with their 3 children. We were from different countries but living in Algeria. Every morning, we had a biblical journey and afterwards, the group sharing which helped us to deepen our Christian faith. And every afternoon, we deepened the theme on the theology of the heart, followed by a group sharing. It was very rich because we came from different denominations, cultures and countries. Our difference is our wealth. The simplicity, the prayer, the animation, the songs, the silence, the collaboration and all the rest of Taizé were touching. I would like to share with you what touched me during this week. It was my first time to participate in a prayer or Taizé meeting and an ecumenical meeting. The spirit and mood did not show the differences of our denominations without the person saying so. We were animated by a spirit like that which animated the first Christians “who did everything in common.” Many students appreciated the community life which does not seem new to them but it was so different and unique! The Taizé prayer takes place with hymns, psalms, the word of God, intercessions, silence and the sharing of bread. Many students appreciated the moment of silence because they were not used to it. We listened to some testimonies:
“I didn’t like the silence when he sent me to my past and it made me relive the hard times of my past. I preferred to listen to music. Now I’m glad I got to experience the silence. It helped me to be close to God and find solutions to some problems I had.”
Another told us: “Heard Orthodox, at the beginning, it was very difficult to get used to and to concentrate during the moment of silence. In our church we pray out loud and many times everyone spends time talking. I didn’t know you could pray in silence. I’m glad I had this time of silence. I learned to listen to God, to listen to myself and to listen to others, and that makes me feel good. »
Another shares with us. “I liked the moment of the dimming of the light before the silence. It is slowly dying out and during this moment, I felt closer to God. It was like me and God, and no one else.”
The last one shares with us: “I felt alive and very free, I feel as if I’m at home, it looks like I’m in another world and not in Algeria”.
It was time to quench the thirst of our faith. It was a beautiful example of unity that goes beyond physical encounter, but unity of faith in prayer and unity of heart in sharing life experiences in freedom, trust and openness without judgment. And I say: behold, Jesus’ prayer for his disciples has been answered, “Jn 17.21” (May they all be one, Father, as you are in me, and I in you. May they also be one in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me). Unity is possible. Let’s be artisans of unity!!
Sr. Domina…. Ghardaia (Algeria)