Saturday, January 12, 2008

To Risk Things

Some food for thought:

I believe that what is important today is that we uncover the violence within us and discover that under the violence there is something very beautiful. One of the questions that always comes up is, "What do we fear?" One of the questions that I like to ask all the people of our communities is, "What are you most frightened of? Is it fear of not being respected? Is it fear of being put aside? Is it fear of not being loved? Is it fear of death?" What is that we're frightened of? Because from fear and anguish can rise hate and from hate can rise war.

We must learn how to look into our fears because we cannot let ourselves be controlled by fear. We have to look our fears right in the face and we can't always do it by ourselves. We need to be helped, because if we can't look death and failure in the face, well, then we can never live because to live means to risk, to do things, to have projects which might fail, which might go wrong. We cannot be totally secure for everything; we must discover inside ourselves this power that we have been given to receive the Holy Spirit, not alone, but with others in community, to decide to go forward and to risk things.

The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us and then we see that the whole vision of Jesus is bringing people together.

-- Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche, an international network of communities for the mentally disabled.

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