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In order to grow towards wholeness,

accepting our brokenness

and gradually becoming more compassionate,

we need the power of the Spirit.

But we are humans

and we must also know the ways of our own bodies and beings…

Each one of us must find our own secret rhythm

of how to rest, relax and find re-creation

for each one of our bodies is different.

We need personal space and time.

God gave the Jewish people the Sabbath

as a day of rest.

Each of us must discover our own Sabbath,

our real nourishment…

We must learn

not just to free ourselves from tension and fatigue

on the Sabbath day, our day of rest.

We must also learn

as the mother must learn

in front of the never-ending needs of her children,

how to respect our energy

and relax in all the moments of our day

filled as they may be with arduous work

or often tiresome meetings,

and crises of all sorts,

and the hundred and one things that have to be done.

To do this we must discover how to harmonize

the active and the passive in us.

if we are just doers,

feeling terribly responsible and serious,

we will crack up one day.

We must nourish the passive part of us,

our hearts made for a personal love,

learning to listen to others,

to marvel at nature,

to rest a moment in the presence of Jesus,

to receive the love of those around us

and be nourished by their trust,

enjoying the little things of each day,

not taking ourselves too seriously,

accepting to become like little children.


­            --Jean Vanier


(from 1000 World Prayers edited by Marcus Braybrooke)

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