“Our world is a moving world, so the question is not ‘will the future be good or will it be bad?’ The question is “what can I do today to accept myself as I am, to accept others as they are, and to help one or two people to fly?”
~ Jean Vanier, Founder of L’Arche
50 years ago, an ex-naval officer invited two men with mental disabilities to live with him. Now L’Arche has communities all over the world. Writer Maggie Ferguson tells it’s story and talks to it’s founder, Jean Vanier. I first became aware of this organization through the words of Henri Nouwen. L’Arche and it’s story have been speaking to my heart lately and this article popped up my radar just today. Well worth a read if you feel so open to it.
“The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, person and family history, belief systems, and often nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.”
“To pray means to open your hands before God. It means slowly relaxing the tension which squeezes your hands together and accepting your existence with an increasing readiness, not as a possession to defend, but as a gift to receive.”
“You want appreciation. Even though you like what’s happening now doesn’t mean that you still don’t want appreciation or greater stimulation. It just means you’re not using something in your now as your excuse to not let in all those things that you’ve been wanting. The perfect creative stance is satisfaction where I am, and eagerness for more.”
“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
“Nobody else knows your reason for being. You do. Your bliss guides you to it. When you follow your bliss, when you follow your path to joy, your conversation is of joy, your feelings are of joy — you’re right on the path of that which you intended when you came forth into this physical body.”