Saturday, September 22, 2018

Jean Vanier's '10 rules for life to become more human'

'I’m just somebody who was born ninety years ago and will die in a few years time and then everybody will have forgotten me. This is reality'
Jean Vanier, the Canadian philosopher and theologian and the founder of L'Arche communities, turned ninety this week.
To commemorate the occasion he released a YouTube video laying out his “ten rules for life to become more human” by sharing his thoughts on life and on growing older. He speaks about success, vulnerability, listening, fear and love. 
1. Accept the reality of your body
Vanier says, “For a man to become a man he has to be at ease with his body. That body is fragile, like all bodies. We are born in weakness (as a little child); we will die in weakness. And when we get to a certain age – ninety – we begin to get weaker.” He adds, “I have to accept that I’m ninety. I’m not fifty, or forty, or thirty.”
2. Talk about your emotions and difficulties
He acknowledges that men in particular “have difficulty expressing their emotions.”
3. Don’t be afraid of not being successful
Vanier adds, “you have to discover you are beautiful as you are” regardless of whether or not you are successful.
4. In a relationship, take the time to ask “How are you?”
“Has he married his success in work, or has he married his wife? What is the most important? Is it to grow up the ladder in promotion?” asks Vanier.
5. Stop looking at your phone. Be present!
To young people he says, “You are people of communication.” But then he asks, “Are you people of presence? Are you able to listen?” "To be human is to know how to relate," he adds. 
6. Ask people “What is your story?”
Vanier emphasises the importance of relating to people and listening to them. He says, “To meet is to listen: Tell me your story? Tell me where your pain is? Tell me where your heart is? What are the things you desire?” He adds, “I need to listen to you because your story is different to my story.”
7. Be aware of your own story
“You are precious. You have your ideas: political, religious, non-religious, you have your vision for the world. Your vision for yourself,” says Vanier. He acknowledges that when we fear our identities, worldviews, and cherished opinions are being taken away from us we are liable to become angry. He adds, “we have to discover where our fears are because that is the fundamental problem.” He asks, “Maybe in your story there is a story about fear?”
8. Stop prejudice: meet people
Vanier says, “The big thing about being human is to meet people.” We need to “meet people who are different” and “discover that the other person is beautiful.”
9. Listen to your deepest desire and listen to it
Vanier says, “We are very different from birds and dogs. Animals are very different.” He says that unlike with animals there is a “sort of cry of the infinite within us. We’re not satisfied with the finite.” He asks, “Where is your greatest desire?”
10. Remember that you'll die one day 
“I’m not the one who’s the king of the world and I’m certainly not God,” says Vanier. “I’m just somebody who was born ninety years ago and will die in a few years time and then everybody will have forgotten me. This is reality. We’re all here, but we are just local people, passengers in a journey. We get into the train, we get out of the train, the train goes on.”

Vanier set up his first L'Arche community in 1964 by welcoming two mentally disabled men into his home in the town of Trosly-Breuil in France. Today, L’Arche has grown into an international organisation of 147 communities in 35 countries. Its aim is to create homes, programs and support networks with and for people who have developmental disabilities.
Vanier, the author of over 30 books, suffered a heart-attack in late 2017. He is said to have been resting in his home in France.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Community Weekend 2018

September 14-16 Sharing the Journey Together

Images of highlights from the weekend including:
  • Praying our community prayer in languages other than English
  • Creating our footsteps and hopes for the future
  • A scavenger hunt
  • The blessing of our Community Council members
  • A great concert celebrating the talent  of community members.
Songs we sang to nurture our spirit:

The Deeper River Digby Hannah

Come To The Circle | John Coleman

 Let Us Drink From The River | John Coleman

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Living Water Retreat Day 2018

Resources used in the L'Arche Brisbane Community Retreat Day 

30 June 2018

Come to the Circle (John Coleman)
Let us Drink From the River (John Coleman)
Deeper River (Digby Hannah)

Our Community Poem 2017 

Water flowing
full of life
fish, sharks.
We gve thanks for life giving water
freely offered all the time.
We are grateful for
all that God provides,
for even the birds! 
Trees growing by the river.
Running water to drin.
to wash,to clean,
and keep us healthy,
water to care for others.
Let us look after our r,
and the deep river within.
Water fall,
over rocks and stones
sometimes it's rough.
Awaken us

Stillness, waiting,
to ourselves and to others.
we see jesus.
Early morning
Peace, quiet, calmness.
Mindfulness real meaning.
Roaring river
a job to do
Peace of the Lord flowing through me,
God's love speading out
caring for everyone.
Carrying water
carrying Jesus within
Living water within
Gifts of life and beauty
Puddles of joy,
in the rain,
of special people,
places far away
river bends,
sometimes uncertainty, doubt.
in the perspective from above
I give thanks for today
And the great hope for tomorrow
in the sparkles.
The sea, the river, the beach, the waterfall.
We are many, we are one.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Garden Working Bee May 13

Working Bee that will be held at Carina House 12 Lovejoy Street Carina on Saturday 12 May commencing at 9.45amand we hope to finish up at 2pm. You might like to come for all of this time or spend a little time supporting the house to improve their garden.

Front Gardens:
  • Remove weeds, grass and nut grass from garden beds (nut grass should be dug out and not poisoned at this stage)
  • Prune plants (too early to prune roses, but may need attention)
  • Fertilise plants - possibly slow release such as Osmocote or Dynamic Lifter
  • Mulch gardens
Rear Garden:
  • Dig out weeds, including nut grass
  • Loosen soil around plants
  • Fertilise
  • Place newspapers before mulching
Tools required include 
  • Wheelbarrows (there are a few carriers at the home that could be adapted to carry mulch but we need at least two reasonable sized wheelbarrows)
  • Shovels
  • Forks (big and small)
  • Maddock (there is one in the garden shed)
  • Rakes
  • Secateurs
  • Some old newspapers to lay down before mulching.
  • Garbage bags (for weeds)
Lunch will be provided on the day and I would encourage people to bring some water, wear a hat and sunscreen, if you have some good gardening gloves these will also be useful. I have some pairs from previous working bees.
It will be good to see as many people involved in this day as it is a good way to do something together as well as making our house look cared for.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Support L'Arche Australia Fundraiser

Help L'Arche Australia share in $22,000 from us, and it won't cost you a cent!

We're giving $22,000 to 40 Charities, with guaranteed prizes for the Top #10 Animal, Disadvantaged, Medical and General Charities.

 L'Arche Australia is currently in position #36 and needs your help to make sure they're in the Top #10 on June 30th.

You've already voted for them, could you take a moment to ask your friends to vote as well? 
Whether you post, tweet, pin or email, use the links below to instantly spread the word. We've even included a personal message you might like to use!

Sample Message to share with your friends
I'm helping L'Arche Australia get as many votes as they can at

On June 30th the 40 Charities with the most votes share in $22,000 donated by MyGivingCircle and UBank and I'd love L'Arche Australia to be one of the winning charities.

It's free to vote, only takes a moment and you can vote for up to 3 Charities at a time. Please help by voting at