cag–other gifts

other gifts include:

  • spiritual guidance
  • freedom of another
  • listening, respect, trust
  • discernment
  • fidelity, longevity, serenity
  • wonderment–this gift of youth [wonderment] and the gift of age [fidelity, etc] combine to make community
  • animation
  • availability, child-like obedience
  • poverty–for often the poor see things and have freedom which those in responsibility do not
  • compassion–often a gift of the poor–[tho he doesn’t call it ‘compassion’, calling it ‘sensitivity’ and having a ‘loving heart’ instead]
  • weakness–also often a gift of the poor–weakness in the weak generates love in the strong–weakness due to poverty, disability, illness, or palliation

as a person or a community grows, the parents’/leader’s role diversifies:

  • parents/leaders teach morality
  • priest teaches divinity
  • teachers teach humanity and socialization

it is dangerous for these roles to be combined in one person. however, ‘if these three roles are separated and work well in harmony together, … then the members will grow to greater inner freedom.’ no person is a saint. ‘every person is a mixture good and evil, light and darkness.’

similarly, it is dangerous to confuse or replace a priest with a psychologist. ‘sometimes we have to lose psychological peace before we can live in true peace. divine peace often grows from humiliation and acceptance of a psychological problem.’ this peace, which may come from our acceptance of a psychological problem, vanier says ‘is a gift of god which springs from our inner selves and a desire to serve our brothers and sisters. it helps us to carry our cross.’

jv’s recipe for getting thru a dark night to the dawn:

  1. be patient
  2. altho the answers are within, find a spiritual guide, a fellow human, to help frame the questions
  3. find the meaning of your setbacks and use them contructively
  4. be prepared to die and to be reborn

‘…a journey towards inner healing and wholeness.’

diversity–‘difference is not a threat but a treasure, … “variety is evidence of life: cold conformity presages death” [parker j. palmer, a place called community]”.’

both sexes have gifts. while jv recognizes that ‘men are in danger of fleeing from their own vulnerability and capacity for tenderness’, he’s far from being a feminist. the danger is that men will see women only as heavenly virgins or devilish sirens or mere servants. he warns that ‘when men and women refuse to work together, it can become warfare which can lead to chaos. when they do work together, it is community.’

finally: recognition, affirmation, encouragement–good; adulation, flattery–bad

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