The wealth of poverty (of spirit).

April 4, 2014

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Losing and Gaining our Lives

The great paradox of life is that those who lose their lives will gain them. This paradox becomes visible in very ordinary situations. If we cling to our friends, we may lose them, but when we are nonpossessive in our relationships, we will make many friends. When fame is what we seek and desire, it often vanishes as soon as we acquire it, but when we have no need to be known, we might be remembered long after our deaths. When we want to be in the center, we easily end up on the margins, but when we are free enough to be wherever we must be, we find ourselves often in the center.

Giving away our lives for others is the greatest of all human arts. This will gain us our lives.

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Henri Nouwen Society, Daily Meditation, April 4, 2014.


Tony Martin: Why 100,000 CDN franchisee families should keep his family in their thoughts.

February 17, 2014

The Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) Act, 2000 exists because of Martin. He draws people together is a way only an Irish immigrant could.
Tony Martin

I would suggest ALL franchisees, everywhere, who know enough to value the legal protections that “good faith, fair dealings and commercially reasonable” might give to their life, recognize this, faith-filled parliamentarian’s fearless role in not managing but eradicating  predatory industry practices, starting in 1996.

As reported in the Sault Star, NDP colleagues offer words of support after Tony Martin hospitalized after suffering stroke:

The longtime NDP politician and anti-poverty activist reportedly suffered the stroke Sunday.

Bud Wildman, former provincial cabinet minister and a close friend, said doctors are hopeful Martin, 65, will recover.

He said Martin’s family is by his side.

“I’m concerned for my friend. He’s a strong person. I’m hoping he’ll make a full recovery,” said Wildman.

My thoughts are with Bud, Madge, Karen and Jacques and especially Anna and their children.

Jean Vanier defines the growing pains a community can experience about the “other” or the unknown.

November 25, 2013

These daily thoughts seem related to strengthening an educational capacity at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi.

larche logo

At least to me, anyways.

Community Integration
The more a community deepens and grows, the more integrated it must be in the neighbourhood. When it begins, the community is integrated within the four walls of its house. But gradually it opens up to neighbours and friends. Some communities begin to panic when they feel that their neighbours are becoming committed to them; they are frightened of losing their identity, of losing control. But there are times to knock down the walls of a community. This is how a small community can gradually become the yeast in the dough, a place of unity for all and between all.

Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, p.116

This is how a small community can gradually become the yeast in the dough, a place of unity for all and between all.

Vanier helped develop the technology which built a worldwide network of these mustard seeds called L’Arche. I do not know if Simcoe County is mature enough to support such a profound power within their borders. But if has a home anywhere, it might be best to radiate from the park.

Fewer poor people in Midhurst and Springwater Township may be the real cause of its unnatural death by sprawl annexation.

November 22, 2013

The poor are a community’s strength.


There were lots of poor people in Vespra Township when I grew up in the 1960s.

An Undefined Power
A poor person has a mysterious power: in his weakness he is able to open hardened hearts and reveal the sources of living waters within them. It is the tiny hand of the fearless child which can slip through the bars of the prison of egoism. He is the one who can open the lock and set free. And God hides himself in the child.

Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, p.96

Is Simcoe County ready to host a L’Arche community?

July 20, 2013

Fear of Pain

We don’t want to look at disabled people, so we create protective situation to keep us at a safe distance from any form of pain. Then we can leave quietly and gently in a world of dreams and illusion. Everything is okay and everything is going to be okay. I will not be confronted by the presence of pain. And if there are people in pain, it’s their fault.

L’Arche CanadaDaily Thoughts

Happy Easter

March 31, 2013

Jean Vanier Daily Thought


People who do not have an identity, who have not put down roots and do not have a clear set of values, cannot be really open to others. They cannot give because they do not really know who they are, what they want and what they are capable of. Those, on the other hand, who have a strong identity, but who are closed in on themselves and on their own particular circle, behind solid walls, are convinced that they are right. They judge and condemn people who do not see things their way. Either they are in danger or suffocation, or they tend to create conflict.

Those who have an identity and who are open to people different from themselves will gradually become people of compassion, peace and reconciliation. Through humble and simple acts, through listening and kindness, they will bring peace and unity. By directing their abilities towards communion, they will help others to live their humanity more fully and to be united in love and in a common purpose. Openness also implies trying to understand those who are different, and those who use their authority to oppress people, in order to find ways of entering into dialogue with them. Openness impels us to make space for them in our hearts.

Jean Vanier, Our Journey Home, p 146


Disability and Society

December 19, 2012

Portraits – L’Arche Greater Vancouver (Juan Olaechea)

Disability and Society

There is a lack of synchronicity between our society and people with disabilities. A society that honours only the powerful, the clever, and the winners necessarily belittles the weak. It is as if to say: to be human is to be powerful.

Those who see the heart only as a place of weakness will be fearful of their own hearts. For them, the heart is a place of pain and anguish, of chaos and of transitory emotions. So they reject those who live essentially by their hearts, who cannot develop the same intellectual and rational capacities as others.

Jean VanierBecoming Human, p. 46

L’Arche CanadaDaily Thoughts

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