In 1987, an amazing 8 year old boy attended a Roman Catholic gathering of bishops. Armando cannot walk or talk. He is very small for his age. He came to the L'Arche Community from an orphanage where he had been abandoned. He was desperately thin and dying for lack of food.
After a while, the community took him in where he found people who held him, loved him, and wanted him to live. He began to eat again and develop. He still cannot walk or talk or eat by himself. His body is twisted and broken, and he has a severe mental disability.
But when you pick him up, his eyes and whole body quiver with joy. In excitement, he'll say to you, "I love you." Armando has a deep impact and personal influence on people around him.
If someone loves you, as the members of L'ARCHE loved Armando in both his physical and spiritual deformities, we discover something good can survive. Something pure. It takes Armando for us to see the miracle of the Gospel in our hearts and lives. Broken yet beautiful. It's because Armando found a fellowship that gives him Christ's unconditional love and grace.
All of us need the example of Armando and his kind of spiritual community to grow and thrive.