Laudate Omnes Gentes

It’s Sunday night and we’ve just finished dinner. The sun is beginning to set in the west. It was a beautiful day despite the pandemic and fear that grips the world around us. I’m listening to Taize. If you’re not familiar Taize is a Christian ecumenical community founded in France in 1940 during the second world war. I never experienced it until I began to attend liturgies at Mount Irenaeus twenty years ago. I came to the Mountain as we call it searching for a deeper experience of God. I found it there and along with it the understanding that I’m a contemplative. From the time I was quite young I was attracted to this quiet experience of the almighty. Traditional church services always left me cold. But at the Mountain I found a community of believers who were drawn to a deeper mystical experience of creation.

One of my favorite Taize prayers is Laudate Dominum which is drawn from the Psalm 117. “Laudate omnes gentes, laudate Dominum.” Translated that is, “Sing praises, all you peoples, sing praises to the Lord.” The Franciscans of Mount Irenaeus found it unnecessary to define what the Lord is for me or for anyone else. They are Roman Catholic friars but realize that each of us senses the spark of the divine differently. That’s very Franciscan.

By God’s power, presence, and essence, God is the One whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. God exists uncircumscribed in everything. God is, therefore, all inclusive. God is the essence of everything. God is most perfect and immense: within all things, but not enclosed; outside all things, but not excluded; above all things, but not aloof; below all things, but not debased. Finally, therefore, this God is all in all…. Consequently, from him, through him and in him, all things exist.”

— St. Bonaventure

As the evening descends on this day may you enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding while listening to this selection from Taize.