An excerpt from Jean Vanier’s book Community & Growth:
To welcome is one of the signs of true human and Christian maturity.
It is not only to open one’s door and one’s home to someone. It is to give space to someone in one’s heart, space for that person to be and to grow; space where the person knows that he or she is accepted just as they are, with their wounds and their gifts.
That implies the existence of a quiet and peaceful place in the heart where people can find a resting place. If the heart is not peaceful, it cannot welcome.
* [I want to add a little note here on the subject of having a peaceful heart: Plato suggested a metaphor for the mind—that our ideas are like birds fluttering around in our brains... but in order for the birds to ever settle, we need periods of calm and quiet, solitude and reflection.]
To welcome is to be open to reality as it is, with the least possible filtering.
I have discovered that I have many filters within my own self where I select and modify the reality I want to welcome: the reality of the world, of people, of God and of the Word of God. I select what pleases me, boosts my ego and gives me a sense of worth. I reject that which causes inner pain or disturbance or a feeling of helplessness; that which may bring up guilt feelings or anger or a broken sexuality. We all have filters created from our… Read More