Madonna House: the People of the Towel & Water
Something else emphasised in the video is 'Nazareth spirituality', which deeply influenced Blessed Charles de Foucauld, though in a somewhat different way. It is also implicitly part of the spirituality of Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche and co-founder of its 'cousin' Faith and Light. Both of these, like Madonna House, are very Marian. Indeed, Faith and Light grew out of an international pilgrimage to Lourdes for persons with learning disabilities and their families in 1971.
The very title of this video also reminds me of something that Jean Vanier places great importance on, the washing of the feet. In a retreat I made under him in Manila in 1995 we spent a whole afternoon reflecting on this, ending in small circles where we washed the feet of one of the persons beside us. The one who washed mine was Lala, about whom I've written a number of times before.
'Nazareth spirituality' shows the extraordinary presence of God in the ordinary. Most of us spend our whole lives in 'Nazareth' and yet very few of us are aware of this.A quiet joy comes through this film, the kind of joy that Pope Benedict spoke about in his message for this year's World Youth Day, observed yesterday, Palm Sunday.