Update on 31 May 2020: Since I wrote this post last year, serious allegations have been raised and confirmed by L’Arche that Jean Vanier had coercive sexual relations with six women. Here is an article from the Washington Post that goes into depth about the allegations: https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/02/23/jean-vanier-once-talked-about-nobel-or-sainthood-candidate-is-accused-abusive-sexual-relationships-with-six-women/
I feel betrayed by yet another spiritual leader. I, who am full of faults, do not condemn him…but I do feel duped and betrayed.
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.
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,
I’m deeply challenged by Vanier’s perspective, both in the quote above and in this video.