"L'Arche is special, in the sense that we are trying to live in community with people who are mentally handicapped... The particular suffering of the person who is mentally handicapped, as of all marginal people, is a sense of being excluded, worthless and unloved. Is is through everyday life in community and the love that must incarnate in this, that handicapped people can begin to discover that they have a value, that they are loved and so are lovable. I began L'Arche in 1964, in the desire to live the Gospel and to follow Jesus Christ more closely. Each day brings me new lessons on how much Christian life must grow in commitment to life in community, and on how much of that life needs faith, the love of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit if it is to deepen." ~ Jean Vanier It's a good reminder that each of us has been created by God. We are each made in His image and loved by God. The best part is this: we need each other! We need children to remind us how simple life really is and what true trust and faith look like. We need people with disabilities to remind us about compassion, love and joy. We need the elderly for their wisdom and experience and the teenager for their passion and vigor. Only in community can these attributes be fully realized. As a closing thought, I'm reminded of 1 John 4:19-20, "We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
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