At the heart of L’Arche are the recognisable gifts of our core people – gifts of openness, welcome, candour and simplicity. Others of us come to L’Arche in search of those attributes in our own lives and any spirituality that evolves is rooted in and related to such instincts.

Many of us also come with our wounds and limitations, as well as our gifts and strengths. The key to the spirituality of L’Arche is an openness to receive from others and grow in responding authentically to those whose life we share. A spirituality of openness may sound straightforward, simple – even simplistic. Yet it makes great demands on us. This search can take us to places of peace, but also of struggle and goes to the heart of what makes us human. We cannot remain open to others without a profound inner freedom - which is not self-evident in most of us - and without being sufficiently nourished spiritually.

L’Arche’s spirituality emerges from this shared struggle to find genuine personal freedom in a community life of adults. We encourage and enable all in L’Arche to become fully themselves and we strive to create the freedom necessary for this to take place. This may mean helping people to rediscover their own spiritual way. It may mean facing discomfort and taking responsibility for this. It will always mean not closing off and hiding behind our spiritual life, but facing the real challenge of staying open – to God, to one another, to oneself, to one’s wounds and gifts and to the needs of humanity at every level.

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