Veritas Publications, Dublin, Ireland. 64 pages
These are difficult times. The U.S. election has only increased difficulties by leaving the country more deeply fractured. Division rules. Winners and losers have gone to their separate camps to plan strategy. Many have fallen into depression, if not despair. Into this mix, we need people of hope and wisdom. One of them is Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, a residential faith-based community for people with learning disabilities. In this little book of essays first delivered at an international peace conference, Vanier speaks to the necessary hard work of finding peace across all barriers. “We are in a world where we all want peace, where we all love peace. But the question will always be, ‘Are we prepared to work for it?’ And to work for it can mean to put one’s life in danger. It can mean to cross over barriers where one is not always understood or respected; cross over the frontiers to meet the other, to encounter the other, to find enthusiasm to listen to the other.” In the post-election days, this seems harder than ever. Yet if peace and the justice that accompanies it are truly our goals, there is no other way than to cross the frontiers to encounter the other. Such encounters may be the equivalent to loving our enemies, which no one believes is easy. There is deep wisdom in this book and perhaps a path forward for those who dare take it.