“Jesus is the starving, the parched, the prisoner, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the dying. Jesus is the oppressed, the poor. To live with Jesus is to live with the poor. To live with the poor is to live with Jesus.” - Jean Vanier, Community and Growth
All L'Arche communities are communities of faith, rooted in prayer and trust In God. Each community member is encouraged to discover and deepen her/his spiritual life and live it according to her/his particular faith or tradition.
Those who have no religious affiliation are also welcomed and respected in their freedom of conscience. The spirituality of L'Arche Seattle is lived out in the small daily acts of love and fidelity, in times of prayer in the homes, and in community celebrations.
While L'Arche embodies a distinctive spirituality that beholds the inherent beauty and goodness of each person, Jean Vanier was adamant to ensure that L'Arche does not become a religion of its own. Jean clarifies this point as he writes, "An interdenominational community does not want to become another church with its own services. No, an interdenominational community is called to bring people together and, through them, their churches. Its role is to help people discover each other more deeply, their beliefs and their beauty, and to help people discover that the things that unite are far deeper than the things that divide."
The L'Arche Beatitudes
Blessed are you who take time to listen to defective speech, for it is you who help us to know that if we persevere, we can be understood.
Blessed are you who walk with us in public places and ignore the stares of strangers, for in your companionship we find havens of relaxation.
Blessed are you that never bids "hurry up"and more blessed are you that do not snatch our tasks from our hands to do them for us, for often we need time rather than help.
Blessed are you who stand beside us as we enter new ventures, for our failures will be outweighed by times we surprise ourselves and you.
Blessed are you who ask for our help, for our greatest need is to be needed.
Blessed are you who assures us that the thing that makes us individuals is not our peculiar muscles, nor our wounded nervous system, but is the God-given self that no infirmity can confine.
Blessed are those who understand that sometimes I am weak and not just lazy.
Blessed are those who forget my disability of the body and see the shape of my soul.
Blessed are those who see me as a whole person, unique and complete, and not as "half" or one of God's mistakes.
Blessed are those who love me just as I am without wondering what I might have been like.
Blessed are my friends on whom I depend, for they are the substance and joy of my life!