Here’s the quotes from my re-reading the brilliant and timeless Community and Growth, by Jean Vanier.
“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.”
“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.”
“Love doesn’t mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness.”
“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
“If we are to grow in love, the prisons of our egoism must be unlocked. This implies suffering, constant effort and repeated choices.”
“When people love each other, they are content with very little. When we have light and joy in our hearts, we don’t need material wealth. The most loving communities are often the poorest. If our own life is luxurious and wasteful, we can’t approach poor people. If we love people, we want to identify with them and share with them.
“People cannot accept their own evil if they do not at the same time feel loved, respected and trusted.”
“All of us have a secret desire to be seen as saints, heroes, martyrs. We are afraid to be children, to be ourselves.”
“It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.”
“A growing community must integrate three elements: a life of silent prayer, a life of service and above all of listening to the poor, and a community life through which all its members can grow in their own gift.”
“We discover that we are at the same time very insignificant and very important, because each of our actions is preparing the humanity of tomorrow; it is a tiny contribution to the construction of the huge and glorious final humanity”
….yes the books a classic and worth your time and investment.