Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jean Vanier

One of the great graces that Jesus gave me in ’56 and since, is to realize that in the Church there must be two sorts of men – there must be those who know how to conserve those traditions that have come down to us through the ages, but there must also be those who, like Jesus, have primarily at heart the salvation of their fellows and are always trying to find new ways - human and divine – to make the message of Jesus more living. Without those who have at heart the conservation of tradition, the eager and merciful apostles (unless they are really possessed in all the details of their lives by the Holy Spirit) will risk to abandon certain essential aspects of tradition – not necessary, perhaps, for them, but necessary for the Church and souls in general: on the other hand without these apostles, those who have at heart the conservation of tradition will tend to forge a sterile religion of rites, without love, without mercy. And in the designs of Jesus these two groups will always make each other suffer.

Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche project: a way of living in community with handicapped people.

The passage is from a letter he wrote which is quoted in Kathryn Spink’s book: Jean Vanier & L’Arche, A Communion of Love, page 28, DLT edition.

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