From brokenness to community

Paulist Pr, 1992

The text in this book originates as two lectures given by Jean Vanier as part of the Wit Lecture series at Harvard University in 1988. He speaks eloquently of the lessons he has learned from l’Arche. He speaks of his own healing and his own need for people. He speaks of the power of belonging and how it satisfies the deepest needs in people. Vanier does not romanticize community. For him, community is a place of struggle, conflict and confrontation. Community is a place where the ego dies, a place of surrender. However it is also a place of celebration, joy and ultimately of human fulfillment. For Vanier, community is a place where we encounter God: God is present in the poverty and wounds of our hearts. God is not just present in the capacity to heal but rather in the need to be healed.