“Live as children of the Light.” (Ephesians 5, from the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B)
Each year, the Templeton Foundation gives a large monetary prize to someone who excels in life’s spiritual dimensions. This year’s winner, Jean Vanier, received $1.7 million.
I invite you to read more about Jean Vanier receiving this prestigious award. Jean is profoundly wise and a true religious leader in our day. Jean Vanier has created nothing short of a miracle for people with emotional and mental disabilities. His community, L’Arche is world wide. He believes and can testify that community heals. We must hold on to this insight with hope for our future. His voice is profound, loving. His mission is to restore relationships from all the divisions of the world. He will be officially recognized in May for his life and life work.
If you read nothing else on this Lenten journey, ( I know I say that a lot!) make sure you read and listen to these interviews. We need such wisdom. We need people to lead us. We need to enter into the truth of God’s love and plan for us all. We need to stop our judgements about people, about ourselves and listen with our emptiness to the power of God’s love for us. We need to seek the light that God gives each person and then become instruments of peace.
The Independent sketched the beginnings of his life’s work:
Mr Vanier left the Navy in 1960 after almost drowning. He went to live in Paris to think, and write, about the meaning of life. A Dominican priest, Thomas Philippe, took him to see a mental institution near Meaux, east of the French capital. “I was horrified,” he recalled. “There were 80 people living in a building meant for 40. They were subjected to terrible violence.”Mr Vanier bought a house in the village of Trosly-Breuil near Compiègne and invited two men from the institution to live with him. “People with mental disabilities have been among the most oppressed and humiliated,” he said. “They were called idiots. But these are beautiful people.”