The Spirituality of L’Arche

L’Arche spirituality is rooted in finding the sacred in the ordinary stuff of life. Relationships between all members of the community are formed through sharing time in daily activities – trips to the supermarket, preparing meals, getting ready for bed, celebrating birthdays and holidays, losing one’s temper and asking forgiveness. The belief in L’Arche is that God’s love and presence are hidden in our most routine and mundane details of the day, when they are shared with each other.

A second grounding spiritual belief in L’Arche is that our weaknesses and vulnerabilities are not to be hidden from others, but welcomed and shared. Our core members are less able to hide their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and their need for support is clear. Part of L’Arche spirituality is acknowledging that each of us has weaknesses and vulnerabilities for which we need the support of others. These “disabilities” are seen as treasures that draw us into community, not shameful parts of our humanity that should be hidden.

Our community as a whole also has vulnerabilities, which compel us to root our communal life in prayer and trust in God. Though L’Arche welcomes people from different faith traditions and spiritual paths, members of L’Arche share daily times of simple prayer together – often around a candle after the evening meal. It is a time to express gratitude, listen to and hold what is present in the hearts of each person, sing, celebrate and remember the presence of God within and among us. Each person in L’Arche is invited and encouraged to be attentive and committed to their personal spiritual journey and nourishment as well as sharing times of prayer together.

L’Arche Prayer

Father, through Jesus our Lord and our brother,

we ask you to bless us.

Grant that L’Arche be a true home, where everyone may find life,

where those of us who suffer may find hope.

Keep in your loving care all those who come.

Spirit of God; give us greatness of heart that we may welcome

all those you send.

Make us compassionate that we may heal and bring peace.

Help us to see, to serve and to love.

O Lord, through the hands of each other, bless us;

through the eyes of each other, smile on us.

O Lord, grant freedom, fellowship and unity to all your people and

welcome everyone into your kingdom. Amen

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I was immediately impressed with the warm welcome and accepting atmosphere of the community.

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