Weekly Inspirational L’Arche Stories - 9/30/09

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The Outside Authority

If a community is to be able to make plans for the future it must have assimilated its past and have a sense of its own tradition. That is one of the reasons the external authority must not change too often. Continuity is important. The role of this outside authority is a delicate one. It is to see as clearly as possible the positive forces in the community and also to point out the negative ones. The outside authority encourages, helps to renew hope and takes the heat out of things. But it is a passing role. It leaves and the community continues on with the people who are there.

- Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, p.129

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