Jean-François and the anguish of living Jean-François et l’angoisse de vivre

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Jean-François and the anguish of living

Jean-François’ family has many big responsibilities in society. When we are on a level of human intelligence, we come across a real difficulty to join the poor people in l’Arche. This is where the dimension of the heart is taken in a very special way. Confidence and surrender turn out to be very necessary. Jean-François had a father who occupied important public functions in France. His sisters and brothers are altogether ’brilliant’ and in good public careers. I can read anguish on Jean-François’ face. On the outside, Jean-François has a very neat, worldly appearance. The foreigner the visitor cannot guess his ’ignorance’ , cannot see his handicap! But if we enter into a relationship with him and talk with him, having established a relationship of communion with him beforehand,

Jean-François is seen to be vey diminished and so different. He’s been ’found out!’ He needs to be in security if he is going to deepen in himself all his capacities. He calls me by his name, to be reassured, then he doesn’t hide his anguish to me : ’That anguishes me, I don’t understand that.’ And yet he has great finesse and intuition. His heart understands many things during the Eucharistic celebration. He can want to serve mass and then takes up Didier’s expression ’I didn’t understand much but my heart was burning within me.’ The people with a disability need to have the Eucharistic celebration explained tot hem : ’I bless you Father for having revealed this to the little ones.’

For each of these people , perspectives on the spiritual life are so real. They are incapable of putting words on the mystery they live in a deep way, when these words are put on them, a life of communion is established and is one that will last. Jean(François can also bear witness to the world of the gift of God. A new balance can be established in his family with a great respect of the other person who is different.