24 April 2014, The Tablet

‘We are not called to be perfect, we are called to be humble’

by Brendan Walsh

Canonisations of John XXIII and John Paul II – 2

It’s impossible to emerge from a meeting with Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, the worldwide network of communities for intellectually disabled people, without feeling the earth beneath one’s feet begin to shake. “We live in what could be called a tyranny of normality,” he writes in his most recent book, Signs of the Times: seven paths of hope for a troubled world. “The values extolled by our wealthy modern societies often damage inner freedom and personal conscience.”Far from being desirable, Vanier believes that success and power prevent us from being truly ourselves. It is only when we recognise our weakness, when we seek help, that we become human. “We are not called to be perfect,” he says. “We are called to be humble.”
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