A Short Reflection On Jean Vanier’s Call To Become Weaker

Yes. With age we do increasingly become weaker. We feel our faculties diminishing, as do all our controlling powers. Prufrock lamented, “I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled”. John the Baptist felt he must diminish as Christ’s glory was magnified. St Paul also reminded us that when we reach an age someone else will fasten our belts and lead us. There are so many depressing references to natural decay and loss of power. And, one tends to counter with rebellion- however futility the exercise.
Vanier poses an alternative point of view. “Human”, he seems to say,” It is in vain you strive to be self-reliant and strong. You build your trust in your own abilities and alliances. But, one day you will fall off your perch, like a sparrow, unhonoured and unsung, back to whence you came.” Better for one to think of Him who values us more than that sparrow that could be bought for a penny.
The most beautiful and most powerful things grow to a point of splendour; and yet a thousand years in that splendour are but a moment to the One who created them. And, what good all this pomp and power if not put use to honour and glorify the master builder? We are after all from the same clay and shaped by the Potter to be burnished in the furnace of His love. Should we not, therefore, renounce our desires for power, surrendering ourselves to His will, honouring Him and glorifying Him along with the eternal melody of the cosmos?