Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thoughts from our chaplain - The healing touch!

It was good to have with us last weekend Colin and two core members of the L’Arche communities. It must have been providential that the next day (Monday) the reflection in Magnificat was by Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche!

He has a marvelous piece there about eight-year-old Amando, who can’t walk or talk and is very small for his age. He had been abandoned by his mother, landed up in an orphanage, but there he refused to eat because he didn’t want to live any longer. At L’Arche he met people who held him, loved him and wanted him to live. Gradually he began to eat again and to develop in a remarkable way. “He still cannot walk or talk or eat by himself, his body is twisted and broken, and he has a severe mental disability, but when you pick him up, his eyes and his whole body quiver with joy and excitement and say: ‘I love you’. He has a deep therapeutic influence on people.” It reminds us of the words in St Mark’s gospel: “And all those who touched him were cured”.  

Jesus now relies on us to reach out with a healing touch. Or in the words of Jean Vanier:  “What many people do not always know is that they have a well deep inside of them. If that well is tapped, springs of life and of tenderness flow forth.” May we often have recourse to that well.  

Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.

(c) Photo Johan Bergström-Allen

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