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Our Life Together [Hardcover]

Jean Vanier
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 4 2007

By any measure, Jean Vanier has led an astonishing life. He is the founder of the international movement of L ’Arche communities, and of Faith and Light, two organizations that bring together people with developmental disabilities and the friends who share their lives. He espouses a philosophy that the marginalized, weak and lonely can teach us great things and that true spirituality can only come from our relationships with the less fortunate. In his work, Vanier has travelled the world, meeting with international dignitaries and faith leaders, and with people who have nothing—as well as everything—to give. Written in his spare, meditative style, Our Life Together contains over four decades of Vanier’s correspondence, from 1964 to the present, as he reflects on his travels through Canada and around the globe; on world events such as 9/11 and the quest for peace; and on his own faith journey and current drive for interfaith dialogue. With an insightful introduction by the author, Our Life Together reads much like a memoir: inspirational, infused with a sense of community, and revealing in its candid portrait of a man who fully understands what it is to be a whole, compassionate human being.


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Review

?This collection of writings brings us into conversational contact with a soul made to touch others. No one can read his words without feeling more implicated in the world?s need for compassionate reality.?

 

(Adrienne Clarkson)

About the Author

JEAN VANIER, the son of former governor general Georges Vanier, was educated in England and Canada. After eight years in the Royal and the Canadian Navy, he went to study in France, where he received his doctorate in philosophy, later teaching at St. Michael’s College (University of Toronto). Distressed by the plight of people with developmental challenges, he founded L ’Arche communities, and Faith and L ight, two international networks of communities for people with disabilities. With many bestselling books and humanitarian awards to his name—including the Pope Paul VI International Prize, the International Peace Award and the Companion of the Order of Canada—Vanier lives in Trosly, France, in the original L’Arche community he founded in 1964.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in a long time. July 24 2008
To start off, what a shame that this book is not also available at amazon.com for US customers.
This is an amazing book. I'm not really one for biographies but this compilation of extremely well written letters full of compassion, truth, advice, history, and stories are captivating. I've been slowly reading/savoring this book over the last few months. What an incredible model of how human's can live together in a very normal way, the way God intends us to live.
As a non Catholic Christian I encourage all Christians to read this. In fact I encourage all people of all faiths to read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book filled with light. Nov. 3 2009
By bikeman
There is something about these letters and reminisces by Jean Vanier that has a calming and uplifting effect on the reader. The letters date back to the sixties, ending in 2007, but each letter pulsates with compassion, vigor, wisdom and unshakeable faith. Vanier's life is truly one lived according to Christian principles. This is an inspiring, one-of-a-kind book. Pick it up and open it at any page and you will find something that will take you away from - and at the same help you see more clearly - the world we live in and must try somehow to save. Vanier writes simply, cheerfully, and you almost feel as if he were addressing you personally. Essentially the letters record his travels throughout the world, first and third, the people he meets, the things he sees, and his efforts to help mentally disabled people. The letters are a beautiful testament to a life devoted to helping people.
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