We are the “ancients” on the earth
So much love to you! I could never have imagined that we would be coming to this time in our lives when we are the “ancients” on the earth! What a gift and privilege.
I’m reminded of your first session as guest lecturer at St. Mikes in 1967, when you spoke to me directly about Jesus in a way that touched my heart. Then it took me five years to get to L’Arche, but I also recall your visits to us early on at L’Arche Daybreak in Toronto and how you helped us to establish L’Arche in the New World! What a support you were. We learned so much as we sat together on the floor of the Big House and poured out our stories – to which you always responded without having been scandalized by our stupidity! From you, we learned about not being scandalized and not fearing, but actually welcoming the vulnerabilities of our brothers and sisters – of each other, – and finally of ourselves! We learned that Jesus was a vulnerable God, and that His life was an example for us of becoming truly human! You explained about the need for unity around those who suffered from brokenness as a “must,” and our need to listen to each other and to accept each other with gentleness and goodness and kindness. We laughed together and cried and even though your visits were short, you ‘lived’ among us as one of us and “accompanied” into a transformative way of being and living together.
I can honestly say that these were the most formative years of my life! So, just let me say, “Thank you so very much.” I cannot imagine how I would have survived without my journey in L’Arche – the saving journey of my heart’s deepest aspirations. Pure Gift. And I was graced to work closely with you during those years in Leadership and rapid growth in the Federation. Your confidence in me, when I felt so hopeless about myself, was huge, and gradually gave me the courage I so desperately needed to begin to believe in myself and my gifts! Whew! Thank you.
Then, you also shared your friends with us, and it was because of you that we had visits from, and a public event with, Mother Teresa, who also became our friend! Remember? Here’s a picture to remind you. Plus, there is a picture of you and I in 2011. Mother Teresa also became a friend and accompanier with whom we exchanged visits and wisdom.
But the biggest gift you’ve given to me, is the gift of encountering the many, many, mainly core members, but also assistants who became my friends and accompaniers and who were the instruments of my continued growth and transformation in the spiritual life. They have been “treasures of life”, teaching me wonderful and hard lessons that Jesus also taught, and that I needed so much.
So, please receive my deep love and gratitude, as well as my prayers for you, by name, every day! May God live with you and continue to walk this journey with you until you find yourself in God’s loving arms and in the communion of saints, with whom you’ve also made the journey.
Much, much love and gratitude.