Friday, May 8, 2009

A little Vanier for today...

The value of efficiency, power, money and pleasure have become all-important in our world today. They tend to eliminate the values of compassion, humility and presence to the powerless. The mass media nourish and encourage this vision rooted in force, in which exteriority and appearance are more important than interiority and being. We constantly need people to remind us of where true inner freedom and peace are to be found.

People who are less capable intellectually, who cannot fend for themselves, are endowed with sensitive hearts. They cry out for love, for recognition, for heart-to-heart relationships. They could change the world if only we would listen to their cry, open our hearts, and discover that we can only be healed by love.

Jean Vanier (founder of L'Arche- In 1964, through his friendship with Dominican priest Father Thomas Philippe, Vanier became aware of the plight of thousands of people institutionalized with developmental disabilities. Vanier felt led by God to invite two men, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to leave the institutions where they resided and share their lives with him in a household in Trosly-Breuil, France. He named their home L'Arche. From this original community in France, 130 other communities have been founded throughout the world in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.)


JDK said...

The Salvation Army seems to be a bit ambiguous on services for people with disabilities. We have a few, but they seem more accidental than by design. I've even heard some people say that that's not our business. Any thoughts?

armybarmy said...

so much to do - so little time. ;-)
I used to work as a teenager for a summer job (in Canada) at a factory the army ran to employ people with disabilities and our Corps was always flooded with people who were disabled from our group homes we ran in the city. I guess, I assumed the Army did it everywhere. Interestingly it was the old children's villages that were converted for the care of the disabled - when the government changed it's policy around state-care for children. What happened to our children's homes in Aus?
not sure of the kind of need here in Aus. on that front.. in Canada at the time we started the group homes there wasn't very much else... perhaps that should guide us.