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reflections on vanier at 89 (part three)

In part three of this series of reflections on the work and wisdom of Jean Vanier at 89, please consider this insight by Hans S. Reinders, Bernard Lievegoed Professor of Ethics and Mental Disability at the Free University of Amsterdam. Vanier has learned, Reinders, writes that "community is not about trying to live a shared idea."

Rather, it is about learning the truth about oneself and others. Contrary to a frequent misreading of its experience, L'Arche has nothing to do with an ideal community that is shaped my morally exceptional people. Instead it has everything to do with people learning to be with each other and be accepted as who and what they are. Thus understood, learning to live in L'Arche is not about following a pattern or a plan according to which the moral self must be shaped. Its gestures of community are about accepting brokenness and limitation in order to create the freedom of celebrating difference.
                                      (The Paradox …

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