11.Discovering the human heart beyond the brokenness and closing in of one self Découvrir le cœur humain au delà des brsiures et de l’enferment

Wednesday 17 February 2016

11.Discovering the human heart beyond the brokenness and closing in of one self

At the bottom of our human nature there is a love.We are born from the encounter of two people. If, when I was conceived, love was lacking, I can today believe in faith given to me that God Love, he was present. "Before I formed you in the womb of your mother’ says God ’I knew you.

The experience with people with a learning disability in l’Arche shows me how life is given in the encounter with another person. When we evoke the ’poor’ at l’Arche, it is our own humanity we are talking about. Recognise oneself as somebody poor, with their limits and brokenness and despite this to become who we are : a child of God. It is a vast programme. Choose to blossom whilst knowing that we are all the time ’turned towards ourselves’, ’taken up with ourselves’, filled with ourselves’. If I don’t watch out, the visceral ’me’ in me will rivet itself upon the ’embryonic centre’ an the closing up will be complete. Jesu, through his poor, has me come out of this closing up. When someone is in need, life is given over abundantly. In fact all process of life implies anther’s participation. A jump of faith is at work.

It is in losing one’s life that we gain it. The parable of the Good Samaritan evokes very well the difficulty of all our encounters. The encounter with poverty, lacks can lead us to a supplement of life. This supplement of life offered by the poor is missed out by the priest and the Levite who come across the man half-dead on the roadside and who don’t stop. This attributed of fear has us pass by on the ’other side’ of life. It reveals a hidden anguish in each one of us and we are very afraid of It. To avoid this ’half-death’ is in fact to avoid the part of this half-death that makes up our own lives. Now paradoxically, what brings life is the encounter of help given tot his wounded man. And so in this Gospel, the counsel given by Jesus ’Go and do likewise’ is a means to find once again the life waiting in me which asks for nothing else but to surge up. But if anguish dominates it prevents to recognise that the need of another is constitutive of my human existence. The danger for the priest and Levite is to believe that it was ’did them good’ to pass without stopping. It does indeed require a certain amount of courage for me to lean down towards somebody half-dead. If I act like the good Samaritan this strength will be given back to me hundred of times over, it will be the ’ centuple’.

In my anguish, I don’t know that it is the wounded man who will give me life. It is only when I become close to him that I come to realise that I too was the man half-dead. I find life once again in this encounter, and make the experience that I need others. The other person in their wounded-ness and poverty, is light for me. I must give him the possibility to join me. A genuine human presence can take me out of my ’closing n on myself’ so I can open up to life. The ’limits’ of our human nature can become a passage for the Love of God. The oppositions to the poor, the closing in on myself, becomes in me a destructive element for my true life. God, however, can cause an eruption in my life through the person who is poor. The wounded Other calls me into existence in a beyond of myself which reveals the true dimension of my being.And so I discover life, in a surge of energy towards another person, towards the Other. At last, I can have an access to myself.

Something of the genuine human person is in the poor. When I come into contact with them, the prodigal son who drowses within me becomes re assured. Because of their suffering, they have lost possession of themselves and have become merciful. In their presence the elder son of the parable reveals that there I a lot of spitefulness within us, such alack of gratitude and a hardening of our hearts and mind. Faced with such great goodness and tenderness, we accept to recognise the true life that is read to burst forth. We come to a better understanding of how Jesus comes to our help through the poor in our daily life.