Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness
The friend of time doesn’t spend all day saying: ‘I haven’t got time.’ He doesn’t fight with time. He accepts it and cherishes it.
To live with Jesus is to live with the poor. To live with the poor is to live with Jesus.
Avoid the poison in your life that brings you turmoil.
We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.
People may come to our communities because they want to serve the poor; they will only stay once they have discovered that they themselves are poor.
Those we most often exclude from the normal life of society, people with disabilities, have profound lessons to teach us
When we love and respect people, revealing to them their value, they can begin to come out from behind the walls that protect them.
…Individualistic material progress and the desire to gain prestige by coming out on top have taken over from the sense of fellowship, compassion and community. Now people live more or less on their own in a small house, jealously guarding their goods and planning to acquire more, with a notice on the gate that says, ‘Beware of the Dog.
All of us have a secret desire to be seen as saints, heroes, martyrs. We are afraid to be children, to be ourselves.
Each human being, however small or weak, has something to bring to humanity. As we start to really get to know others, as we begin to listen to each other’s stories, things begin to change. We begin the movement from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to trust, from closedness to openness, from judgment and prejudice to forgiveness and understanding. It is a movement of the heart.
Jesus is the starving, the parched, the prisoner, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the dying. Jesus is the oppressed, the poor. To live with Jesus is to live with the poor. To live with the poor is to live with Jesus.
Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.
To be lonely is to feel unwanted and unloved, and therefor unloveable. Loneliness is a taste of death. No wonder some people who are desperately lonely lose themselves in mental illness or violence to forget the inner pain.
Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.
Wisdom is something that comes, little by little, through a lot of listening.
To invite others to live with us is a sign that we aren’t afraid, that we have a treasure of truth and of peace to share.
[Happiness] comes when we choose to be who we are, to be ourselves, at this present moment in our lives.
When we start helping the weak and the poor to rise everyone will begin to change. Those who have power and riches will start to become more humble, and those who are rising up will leave behind their need to be victims, their need to be angry or depressed….This is the spirituality of life, that helps people to rise up and take their place. It is not a spirituality of death. Jesus wants those who have been crushed to rise up and those who have power to discover that there is another road, a road of sharing and compassion.
We who are rich are often demanding and difficult. We shut ourselves up in our apartments and may even use a watchdog to defend our property. Poor people, of course, have nothing to defend and often share the little they have. When people have all the material things they need, they seem not to need each other. They are self-sufficient. There is no interdependence. There is no love.
We work for peace every time we exercise authority with wisdom and authentic love.
When we judge, we are pushing people away; we are creating a wall, a barrier. When we forgive we are destroying barriers, we come closer to others.
The response to war is to live like brothers and sisters. The response to injustice is to share. The response to despair is a limitless trust and hope. The response to prejudice and hatred is forgiveness. To work for community is to work for humanity. To work for peace is to work for a true political solution; it is to work for the Kingdom of God. It is to work to enable every one to live and taste the secret joys of the human person united to the eternal.
Community means caring: caring for people. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says: "He who loves community destroys community; he who loves the brethren builds community." A community is not an abstract ideal.
To love someone is to show to them their beauty, their worth and their importance.
Each person is sacred, no matter what his or her culture, religion, handicap, or fragility. Each person is created in God’s image; each one has a heart, a capacity to love and to be loved.
It is my belief that in our mad world where there is so much pain, rivalry, hatred, violence, inequality, and oppression, it is people who are weak, rejected, marginalized, counted as useless, who can become a source of life and of salvation for us as individuals as well as for our world. And it is my hope that each one of you may experience the incredible gift of the friendship of people who are poor and weak, that you too, may receive life from them. For they call us to love, to communion, to compassion and to community.
The person in misery does not need a look that judges and criticizes but a comforting presence that brings peace and hope and life and says: ‘you are a human person: important, mysterious, infinitely precious, what you have to say is important because it flows from a humn person; in you there are those seeds of the infinite, those germs of love… of beauty which must rise from the earth of your misery so humanity be fulfilled. If you do not rise then something will be missing… Rise again because we all need you… be loved beloved.’
Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated. Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.
One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.
Every human activity can be put at the service of the divine and of love. We should all exercise our gift to build community.
Love is an act of endless forgiveness.
I believe every act of violence is also a message that needs to be understood. Violence should not be answered just by greater violence but by real understanding. We must ask: ‘Where is the violence coming from? What is its meaning?
A Christian community should do as Jesus did: propose and not impose. Its attraction must lie in the radiance cast by the love of brothers.
When we begin to believe that there is greater joy in working with and for others, rather than just for ourselves, then our society will truly become a place of celebration.