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There is a famous Jewish parable that runs something like this: Once upon a time there was a rabbi who was old, and very holy. One day he gathered his disciples and asked them this question: "When is there enough light in the world?"
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Recently, Jean Vanier, the founder of l'Arche, delivered the prestigious Massey Lectures at the University of Toronto. Among many other things, he talked about crossing a certain abyss of fear. What is this abyss?
"There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in." Whatever else Leonard Cohen had in mind when he coined that phrase, it says something about how wisdom, compassion and morality seep into our lives. There is a crack in everything. Our culture, of course, is no exception. Despite great technological progress and even some genuine moral achievement, all is far from well with the world. People are falling through its cracks and it is these persons – the sick, the unattractive, the broken, the handicapped, the untalented, those with Alzheimer's disease, the unborn and the poor in general – who are the crack where the light is entering. They give soul to our world.