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Our Life Together

Author(s): Jean Vanier

ISBN13: 9780232527407

ISBN10: 0232527407


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  • By any measure, Jean Vanier has led an astonishing life. He is the founder of the international movement of LArche communities as well as Faith and Light, organisations that bring together people with developmental disabilities and the friends who share their lives. He espouses the philosophy that the marginalised, weak and lonely can teach us great things and that true spirituality can only come from our relationships with the less fortunate.

    Our Life Together contains over four decades of Vaniers letters to friends and to both LArche and Faith and Light communities all over the world. The call of the disadvantaged brought Vanier to the heart of some of the worlds great moments of upheaval: India during the Emergency Period; South Africa during apartheid; Lebanon during its civil war; the USSR in 1989, on the eve of its collapse; the West Bank during the First Intifada; the Philippines at the birth of democracy there; Rwanda on the eve of genocide. His letters bear witness to these turning points in history and also show his personal thoughts on the quest for peace, his own faith journey and the need for interfaith dialogue.

    With an insightful introduction by the author, Our Life Together is inspirational and infused with a sense of unity. It reveals a candid portrait of a man who seeks to understand what it is to be a whole, compassionate human being.

  • Jean Vanier

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    It would be simply impossible to praise the extraordinary Jean Vanier too highly, and his vision of a community of faith and love. Our Life Together: A Memoir in Letters, by Jean Vanier (Darton, Longman & Todd, Ôé¼4.22) contains over four decades of Vaniers letters to both LArche and Faith and Light communities all over the world. In helping the disadvantaged, Vanier found himself at the very heart of some of the worlds great moments of historic upheaval: South Africa, Lebanon, the Soviet Union in 1989, the West Bank during the first intifada, Rwanda on the eve of the genocide and many more. These beautifully written letters are full of wisdom, compassion, inspiration and humour. He has made us all aware of the sacred value of people with disability. It is hard to believe that Vanier is himself now 80 years-old. Writing of old age he observes sagely: I was with an old couple a couple of years ago, and I was holding hands with the wife when she said she didnt like growing old. And I teased, Madame, if we were thirty years old, I couldnt be holding your hand in front of your husband. When were old we discover other things. We discover tenderness and fragility. Our Life Together is a profoundly moving, inspirational and fascinating book. The world needs more truly good and, indeed, saintly people like Jean Vanier.

    - ANTHONY REDMOND, 17 Dec 2009 The Irish Catholic

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Our Life Together