Jean Vanier, The Founder of L’Arche
Inspired and encouraged by Father Thomas, a Dominican Priest, Jean Vanier founded L’Arche in Trosly, France, where people with and without obvious disabilities could share life together in an intentional faith community. Jean welcomed Philippe and Raphael from an institution to live in the first true home they ever knew. Jean was sure he had much to give, but in fact, he is clear that he received much more in return from Phillippe and Raphael.
BEHIND THE NEED TO WIN
"As I began living with people like Raphael and Philip, I began to see all the hardness of my heart. It is painful to discover the hardness in one's heart. Raphael and the others were crying out simply for friendship and I did not quite know how to respond because of the other forces within me, pulling me to go up the ladder. But over the years, the people I live with in L'Arche have been teaching and helping me.
"They have been teaching me that behind the need for me to win, there are my own fears and anguish, the fear of being devalued or pushed aside, the fear of opening up my heart and of being vulnerable or of feeling helpless in front of others in pain; there is the pain and brokenness of my own heart."
- Jean Vanier, From Brokenness to Community, p. 18
Please visit the official Jean Vanier website.