The following talks were recorded at the John Main Seminar 1992: From Brokenness to Wholeness, in London, UK.
‘Healing from brokenness is essentially the acceptance of being who we are with all that is broken in us and that we deny, all the elements of illusion which are in us, but also the seeds of the spirit that are in us and which can grow.’ The clarity with which Jean Vanier understands the problem of brokenness and its healing comes from his years of experience at L’Arche, the international federation of group homes that he founded for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them.
We close ourselves up in productivity and sterile activity to avoid looking at inner pain. And we deny our woundedness because we fear criticism. The deepest quest of the human heart, Vanier says, is for unconditional love such as the woman at the well experienced when Jesus asked her for a drink. And this healing experience is available to all of us today in the silence and stillness of our own deepest centre.
Christian meditation, Vanier says, opens the space where we can meet the heart of Christ, be who we are in all our woundedness, and allow ourselves to be healed. The encounter will free us to move from a vision of rivalry and competition to helping others find their place and exercise their gifts.