Interview with Jean Vanier

Jean-Vanier-3From UCOBSERVER: Faith, Justice, and Ethical Living

An Online Interview, 3 pages; to access:

The Canadian philosopher and founder of the L’Arche community for people with intellectual disabilities talks about faith, disability and God’s tenderness for humanity

By Alicia von Stamwitz

An excerpt:

Q You’ve lived alongside people with intellectual disabilities for nearly 50 years now. What have they taught you about God?

A There is a mystery behind people with disabilities. I find that in many ways, they are a presence of Jesus. We see their fragility, their pain — and yet at the same time, we can say that they speak of God. As we enter into relationship with them, they change us.  

I spent a year living in community with a man named Andrew. One day, he went to see a cardiologist. When he came back, I asked him what had happened. He said, “The doctor looked into my heart.” I said, “Well, what did he see in your heart?” Andrew said, “He saw Jesus, of course.” Then I said to him, “What does Jesus do in your heart?” And Andrew said, “Jesus rests there.” In French, the phrase is “Il se repose” — the sense is “He takes his quietness there.” (the interview continues) . . . .

picture from Storied Community: Learning the Jesus Way of Life Together – Jean Vanier’s “Seven Aspects of Love”

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