community

To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: “You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.” We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.

Vanier, Jean. From Brokenness to Community (p. 16). PAULIST PRESS New York and Mahwah, N.J.. Kindle Edition.

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I’m speechless
because I’m guilty,
swallowing hard at the extent of my collusion
with the deceiver within me,
the extent of my obstruction of the justice due you
to be the one who sees my desperate need,
who rescues me from my delusion
that you are the one who needs rescuing,
not me.

dw

 

I’m deeply challenged by Vanier’s perspective, both in the quote above and in this video.

 

What every man looks for in life is his own salvation and the salvation of the [ones] he lives with. By salvation I mean first of all the full discovery of who he himself really is. Then I mean something of the fulfillment of his own God-given powers, in the love of others and of God. I mean also the discovery that he cannot find himself in himself alone, but that he must find himself in and through others.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

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You cannot tell me who I am, and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you? Others can give you a name or a number, but they can never tell you who you really are. That is something you yourself can only discover from within.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

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