Arthur Paul Boers is assistant professor of pastoral theology, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Waterloo, Ontario. He spoke recently at the Calvin Symposium on Worship and the Arts on his latest book, Never Call Them Jerks: Healthy Responses to Difficult Behavior (Alban, 1999; www.alban.org).
Articles by this author:
"Their life's not natural!" a relative exclaimed when the subject of monks came up. Those few words made it clear that the monks' lifestyle had nothing to teach us.
Yet along the way, natural or not, I began visiting monasteries. After twenty years, I have seen many. They are wonderful places to experience hospitality, to go on retreat, and to find inspiration to pray. Gradually, 1 also grew to appreciate monastic worship.
Brother Ã‰mile (last names are not used in Taizé) is a French Canadian from northern Ontario. We met under an awning in the garden at Taizé during a hot July day. Little groups clustered nearby. In a place that avoids titles and roles, Brother Ã‰mile does a number of things, including Bible studies with the young adults who come to Taizé for a week and with the international team of volunteers that stay for a year.