May 13, 2019 Fatima, Shooting of John Paul II, and the Mercy of Jean Vanier

Our lead story today is a tribute to Jean Vanier, a Canadian pioneer of care for the disabled who died last week at the age of 90. As Margaret Somerville writes: “Jean Vanier’s radical, counter-contemporary-culture message is that we ‘non-disabled people are the losers in refusing to accept disabled people and rejecting the unique gifts they have to offer us as individuals and societies.”

Vanier dedicated his life to the disabled. Not everyone can do that. But everyone can live with the same spirit of charity. As he once pointed out in a newspaper interview, “Try and find somebody who is lonely. And when you go to see them, they will see you as the messiah. Go and visit a little old lady who has no friends or family. Bring her flowers. People say, ‘but that’s nothing.’ It is nothing — but it’s also everything. It always begins with small little things. It all began in Bethlehem. That was pretty small.”

He was an amazing man who combined great intellectual depth, enormous energy, and a committed love for those around him. We need more of his wisdom.


Michael Cook

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