Minister’s Blog

23 May 2019

For the last ten years of his life and ministry, Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Roman Catholic priest and acclaimed spiritual writer, was chaplain at a L’Arche community in Canada. His last book was about Adam, a young man with several disabilities including an inability to speak.

As a result, Nouwen observes that the dominant characteristic of Adam’s  life was the simple posture of waiting. Because he could hardly do anything for himself, he had to wait for others to attend to him.

He goes on to describe Adam as ‘a peacemaker’.  As he says, ‘By his quiet presence, he always brought us again to a still place in ourselves and created a loving atmosphere in our home.’

‘While I tended to worry about what I did…,  Adam was announcing to me  that ‘being is more important than doing’. While I was preoccupied with the way I was talked about … Adam was quietly telling me that ‘God’s love is more important than the  praise of people’.

Minister’s Blog

22 May 2019

Love is what unites.  And love is not the preserve of Christians nor Muslims nor Jews nor able-bodied, nor successful people but our common humanity. It is a universal gift. Everyone has the potential to love another. It is a gift which may be given and received.

If this is the foundation stone of the community then everyone is on an equal footing. There aren’t some who are more successful than others nor some who are less able. There is a community of women and men who simply love each other.

However, it does depend on recognising the gifts which others bring and being humble enough to accept them in a spirit of joy. For love makes people happy with themselves and with others.

‘Many people with disabilities have been so pushed down, they don’t know they’re lovable.’ said Vanier. ‘And then the day that they discover that they are lovable and that they can trust themselves becomes whoopee!’