Posted by: njs44 | December 12, 2009


I’ve been at the British Library again and found some more wisdom from Jean Vanier. This time the subject is forgiveness, and this quote comes from Chapter 3 of his book, Becoming Human.

The mature heart listens for what another’s heart is called to be. It no longer judges or condemns. It is a heart of forgiveness. Such a heart is a compassionate heart that sees the presence of God in others. It lets itself be led by them into unchartered land. It is the heart that calls us to grow, to change, to evolve, and to become more fully human.

As a teacher I would love to be able to do this, to lead my students into uncharted lands. So often, though, the constraints of the system, the syllabus, the pressure to produce results, get in the way of such things.

Later he devotes a whole chapter to Forgiveness and has this to say –

To forgive is to break down the walls of hostility that separate us, and to bring each other out of the anguish of loneliness, fear, and chaos into communion and oneness. This communion is born from mutual trust and acceptance, and the freedom to be ourselves in our uniqueness and beauty, the freedom to exercise our gifts. We are no longer contained and held back by fear, prejudices, or the need to prove ourselves.

The world has such great need for views like this.


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