World Down Syndrome Day, Jean Vanier and Prayer


Today as we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, I thank God for all the beautiful DS people I have met in my life, for parents who welcomed DS children into the world, and for the wonderful film “Praying with Lior” (about a Jewish boy with DS). One of the most beautiful stories Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche Communities (unique families of joy for the able-bodied and disabled), shares is about a DS man and Prayer:
From his book “From Brokenness to Community, p.23:
“Many people in L’Arche are close to God, and yet they are so little and poor. They have known rejection and have suffered a great deal. I am always moved as I hear them speak of God. When somebody asked one of our men, Peter, if he liked to pray, he said that he did. So the person continued and asked him what he did when he prayed. He replied: “I listen.” Then the person asked what God says to him. Peter, a man with Down Syndrome, looked up and said: “He just says, ’You are my beloved son.’”