Jean Vanier English

Latest update : 6 October 2009.

Latest articles

Growing to Wholeness

Tuesday 6 October 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

True growth comes as members of the community integrate into their hearts and minds the vision and spirit of the community. In that way they choose the community as it is and become responsible for it. When people have not integrated the vision into themselves they tend to imitate others or they are just wanting a place where they can belong. This is dangerous and can prevent growth to (...) Read more »

Protection for Continuity

Tuesday 6 October 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

I am rather concerned about communities without any traditions, which refuse to accept external authority. This could be the state, or a bishop, or authority born of a network of sister communities. For without an external authority a community will not outlive its founder for long and, if there is no external control at all, the founder will be in danger of making some serious (...) Read more »

Seeing

Tuesday 3 February 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

The question is not just believing in God, but believing in human people, believing in ourselves, believing in ourselves as children of God called to see people as God sees them, not as we would like them to be. Read more »

The Unfolding of Generosity

Tuesday 3 February 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

Generosity must flow into an encounter, a meeting. But this meeting must go even further. It is more than just about telling one’s story. It must grow into a friendship and the friendship must in turn grow into a commitment because you are my brother or my sister. Read more »

Going Against a Cultural Norm

Saturday 31 January 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

Sometimes today people have difficulty with the phrases “the poor” and “the weak”. The words “poor” and “weak” go against certain cultural norms that want everyone to be strong and powerful. Weakness is frequently considered a defect. However, little children are weak; they cannot fend for themselves. People with sever intellectual disability are weak; they cannot cope all alone. This does not mean that they have no value. We all have our limits and handicaps. We all need each other. But some (...) Read more »

Values

Saturday 31 January 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

We become more human with two realities. One, as we discover that we are able to love and see the value of people seen as having no value. Second, as we discover that we too are broken, that we have our handicaps. And our handicaps are often about the feeling that value is just to have power. Read more »

Language

Thursday 29 January 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

Language evolves according to cultures, countries and times. Behind the changes in language is the desire to affirm that a person with an intellectual disability is first and foremost a person who should be respected and given the opportunity to exercise his or her particular gifts. The important thing in language is to signify difference while respecting persons. Read more »

Personal History

Wednesday 28 January 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

Living in L’Arche with people who have an intellectual disability has made me realize how important it is to help them rediscover their own personal histories. Because they have often been rejected and seen as different, they tend to feel as though they do not belong to human history. Since they have been deprived of intellectual means and are not integrated into the usual networks that others around them take for granted, they have few reference points for their own personal histories. It (...) Read more »

Hope and Love

Monday 26 January 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

Loving someone does not simply mean doing things for them; it is much more profound. To love someone is to show to them their beauty, their worth and their importance; it is to understand them, understand their cries and their body language; it is to rejoice in their presence, spend time in their company and communicate with them. To love is to live a heart-to-heart relationship with another, giving to and receiving from each (...) Read more »

Peace

Monday 26 January 2009, by Willem Kuypers // Jean Vanier English

[Prophets of peace] have lived and proclaimed a path of non-violence. They have been able to do this because they received support and lived with a community of men and women of like minds and hearts. “When I despair,” said Mahatma Gandhi, “I remember that throughout history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it always…whenever you are in doubt that that is God’s way – (...) Read more »

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