"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Disinterested Friendship ... and living together.








Yesterday, on Friday, Pope Francis visited the L'Arche Community of ‘Chicco’ in Ciampino, on the outskirts of Rome.

The Chicco community was founded in 1981 and houses 18 people with intellectual challenges. The L’Arche philosophy is "the praise of imperfection," that is, to thrive amidst disabilities that the world doesn’t value. The residents of L’Arche are free to make their own way in life, to give and receive deep affection and to form lasting friendships. Pope Francis visited L’Arche as a move to emphasize the value of such principles over an ephemeral, disposable culture.
Pope Francis has identified this visit as one of the most profound of his pontificate. - Vatican Radio

L'Arche was founded by Jean Vanier in 1964.

Each person with his or her history of being accepted or rejected, with his or her past history of inner pain and difficulties in relationships, is different. But in each one there is a yearning for communion and belonging, but at the same time a fear of it. Love is what we most want, yet it is what we fear the most. - Jean Vanier



10 comments:

  1. Our Holy Father is just wonderful. Not perfect, but loving, kind, real and always willing to take that extra mile to see God's people.

    Folks rage, rant and criticize him ... all while claiming he adds to their confusion.

    I must be blind then because I don't see it.

    In fact, I have yet to see it.

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    1. Same here - I have yet to see it. I love him so much.

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  2. Love the Vanier quote so much I am going to post it on FB - so many of my friends need to read that! And thanks for the photo and quote of my dear Therese :)

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    1. Thanks - Jean Vanier is a real saint I think.

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    2. Here's an article about Jean Vanier's parents. http://www.catholicregister.org/features/item/13006-the-vaniers-valued-family-values

      Yes, I agree he is a saint. I love Madeleine Delbrêl also, and for that matter...Heather KIng. Role models for me. I try not to pay attention to all of the infighting in the Church...too distracting. I can get too caught up in all of that. "Lead us not into temptation." I was 40 years in the wilderness. I don't want to go back. :)

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    3. They are all my favorites as well. Delbrel is awesome, and so is Heather.

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  3. I wish you all a transforming Pentecost!

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  4. What they all said!
    L'Arche has been part of my life and shaped the way it has unfolded. Community, shared "brokenness", celebrations, prayer, simplicity, intentional community, pilgrimage. Hospitality in the original sense of the word where you welcome the stranger at your table. Pope Francis has continually shown partiality to the forgotten, discarded, less-thans of the world. I keep thinking, "he sounds like Vanier." Thanks for posting this, Terry, as it was the perfect thing to read after Pentecost Vigil Mass. Thanks for the way your continually filter the odd dibs and dabs of the news that most people don't give a thought to. You always have a "nugget" for me to think on. Keep up the good work.

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  5. I've been reading a lot of Vanier recently. Your title reminded me of his book on human sexuality, "Man and Woman, God made them" - such a beautiful, challenging, account of what L'Arche members taught him about human bodily experience. I'd read a lot of Catholic writers on this topic over the years, but nothing that spoke so deeply and so convincingly to the heart as well as to the head.

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