The Heart Has Its Reasons

In honor of Jean Vanier’s 83rd birthday on September 10, 2011, we feature “The Heart Has Its Reasons.” Recognized with the Gabriel Award by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, this 1988 documentary chronicles the life and thought of an exemplary Catholic layman. Discerning our Lord’s call to live in solidarity with the poor, Jean Vanier purchased a small home in Northern France in 1964. Prompted by discussions with a priest friend, he invited two men to leave voluntary confinement in a mental institution…

Heart_Has_Its_Reasons

In honor of Jean Vanier’s 83rd birthday on September 10, 2011, we feature “The Heart Has Its Reasons.” Recognized with the Gabriel Award by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, this 1988 documentary chronicles the life and thought of an exemplary Catholic layman. Discerning our Lord’s call to live in solidarity with the poor, Jean Vanier purchased a small home in Northern France in 1964. Prompted by discussions with a priest friend, he invited two men to leave voluntary confinement in a mental institution and live in community with him. Mr. Vanier named his house L’Arche (Ark), thereby invoking the covenantal image of the Genesis story. L’Arche is now an international federation of 137 communities in 40 countries. Pope John Paul II hailed L’Arche as “a providential seed of the civilization of love.” In the documentary, an interviewer asked: “L’Arche is? Fill in the blank.” Mr. Vanier responded: “A place where we live in community with very wounded people. Where we create an environment where both assistants and the handicapped can grow. And all this in the Spirit of Jesus. The Spirit of the Beatitudes.” I found the scenes of communal worship especially compelling. In addition to this 57 minute DVD, check out Mr. Vanier’s website @ click here. Another testament to Mr. Vanier’s transformative vision is Fr. Henri Nouwen’s short book, Can You Drink the Cup? Fr. Nouwen draws on his experiences as a Spiritual Director for a L’Arche community in Toronto in his reflections on Eucharist. Order this title during your visit to the Media Resource Center @ click here, or call Dan Hardester or Diane Gallagher@ 407-246-4895 (or 4897).
Dan Hardester serves as Secretary for Evangelization and Director of the Media Center.