Community And Growth Quotes

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Community And Growth Community And Growth by Jean Vanier
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Community And Growth Quotes (showing 1-30 of 66)
“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don't talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don't need a lot of money to be happy--in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Love doesn't mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
tags: love
“A community is only being created when its members accept that they are not going to achieve great things, that they are not going to be heroes, but simply live each day with new hope, like children, in wonderment as the sun rises and in thanksgiving as it sets. Community is only being created when they have recognized that the greatness of man is to accept his insignificance, his human condition and his earth, and to thank God for having put in a finite body the seeds of eternity which are visible in small and daily gestures of love and forgiveness. The beauty of man is in this fidelity to the wonder of each day.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“If we are to grow in love, the prisons of our egoism must be unlocked. This implies suffering, constant effort and repeated choices.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
tags: ego, love
“When people love each other, they are content with very little. When we have light and joy in our hearts, we don't need material wealth. The most loving communities are often the poorest. If our own life is luxurious and wasteful, we can't approach poor people. If we love people, we want to identify with them and share with them.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Jesus is the starving, the parched, the prisoner, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the dying. Jesus is the oppressed, the poor. To live with Jesus is to live with the poor. To live with the poor is to live with Jesus.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“A Christian community should do as Jesus did: propose and not impose. Its attraction must lie in the radiance cast by the love of brothers.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“All of us have a secret desire to be seen as saints, heroes, martyrs. We are afraid to be children, to be ourselves.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“People cannot accept their own evil if they do not at the same time feel loved, respected and trusted.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“We have to remind ourselves constantly that we are not saviours. We are simply a tiny sign, among thousands of others, that love is possible, that the world is not condemned to a struggle between oppressors and oppressed, that class and racial warfare is not inevitable.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
tags: love
“It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Every human activity can be put at the service of the divine and of love. We should all exercise our gift to build community.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“The response to war is to live like brothers and sisters. The response to injustice is to share. The response to despair is a limitless trust and hope. The response to prejudice and hatred is forgiveness. To work for community is to work for humanity. To work for peace is to work for a true political solution; it is to work for the Kingdom of God. It is to work to enable every one to live and taste the secret joys of the human person united to the eternal.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“A growing community must integrate three elements: a life of silent prayer, a life of service and above all of listening to the poor, and a community life through which all its members can grow in their own gift.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“The poor are always prophetic. As true prophets always point out, they reveal God's design. That is why we should take time to listen to them. And that means staying near them, because they speak quietly and infrequently; they are afraid to speak out, they lack confidence in themselves because they have been broken and oppressed. But if we listen to them, they will bring us back to the essential.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“A community that is growing rich and seeks only to defend its goods and its reputation is dying. It has ceased to grow in love. A community is alive when it is poor and its members feel they have to work together and remain united, if only to ensure that they can all eat tomorrow!”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“...Individualistic material progress and the desire to gain prestige by coming out on top have taken over from the sense of fellowship, compassion and community. Now people live more or less on their own in a small house, jealously guarding their goods and planning to acquire more, with a notice on the gate that says, 'Beware of the Dog.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“At the heart of the celebration, there are the poor. If [they] are excluded, it is not longer a celebration. [...] A celebration must always be a festival of the poor.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Look at your own poverty
welcome it
cherish it
don't be afraid
share your death
because thus you will share your love and your life”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“[...] We have to realize that this wound [of loneliness] is inherent in the human condition and that what we have to do is walk with it instead of fleeing from it. We cannot accept it until we discover that we are loved by God just as we are, and that the Holy Spirit in a mysterious way is living at the centre of the wound.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“We discover that we are at the same time very insignificant and very important, because each of our actions is preparing the humanity of tomorrow; it is a tiny contribution to the construction of the huge and glorious final humanity”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Community as belonging . . .

Each person with his or her history of being accepted or rejected, with his or her past history of inner pain and difficulties in relationships with parents, is different. But in each one there is a yearning for communion and belonging, but at the same time a fear of it. Love is what we want, yet it is what we fear the most. Love makes us vulnerable and open, but then we can be hurt through rejection and separation. We may crave for love, but then be frightened of losing our liberty and creativity. We want to belong to a group, but we fear a certain death in the group because we may not be seen as unique. We want love, but fear the dependence and commitment it implies; we fear being used, manipulated, smothered and spoiled. We are all so ambivalent toward love, communion and belonging.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Sometimes it is easier to hear the cries of poor people who are far away than it is to hear the cries of our brothers and sisters in our own community. There is nothing very splendid in responding to the cry of the person who is with us day after day and who gets on our nerves. Perhaps too we can only respond to the cries of others when we have recognized and accepted the cry of our own pain.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“From doing to listening

in the end, the most important thing is not to do things for people who are poor and in distress, but to enter into relationship with them, to be with them and help them find confidence in themselves and discover their own gifts. . . . The promise of Jesus is to help us discover that the poor are a source of life and not just objects of our charity.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Communities need tensions if they are to grow and deepen. Tensions come from conflicts within each person - conflicts born out of a refusal of personal and community growth, conflicts between individual egoisms, conflicts arising from a diminishing gratuite, from a class of temperaments and from individual psychological difficulties. These are natural tensions. Anguish is the normal reaction to being brought up against our own limitations and darkness, to the discovery of our deep wound. Tension is the normal reaction to responsibilities we find hard because they make us feel insecure. We all weep and grieve inwardly at the successive deaths of our own interests.

. . . When everything is going well, when the community feels it is living successfully, its members tend to let their energies dissipate, and to listen less carefully to each other. Tensions bring people back to the reality of their helplessness; obliging them to spend more time in prayer and dialogue, to work patiently to overcome the crisis and refind lost unity; making them understand that the community is more than just a human reality, that it also needs the spirit of God if it is to live and deepen.

I am told that there is a Chinese word for 'crisis' which means 'opportunity and danger'. Every tension, every crisis can become a source of new life if we approach it wisely, or it can bring death and division.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“The cry for love and communion and for recognition that rises from the hearts of people in need reveals the fountain of love in us and our capacity to give life. At the same time, it can reveal our hardness of heart and are fears. Their cry is so demanding, and we are frequently seduced by wealth, power and the values of our societies. We want to climb the ladder of human promotion; we want to be recognized for our efficiency, power and virtue. The cry of the poor is threatening to the rich person within us.

We are sometimes prepared to give money and a little time, but we are frightened to give our hearts, to enter into a personal relationship of love and communion with them. For if we do so, we shall have to die to all our selfishness and to all the hardness of our heart.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
“Community as caring . . .

So many people enter groups in order to develop a certain form of spirituality or to acquire knowledge about the things of God and of humanity. But that is not community; it is a school. It becomes community only when people start truly caring for each other and for each other's growth.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

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