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I Am Disarmed

I’m no longer afraid of anything, because love banishes fear.

Patriarch Athenagoras I with Pope Paul VI on January 5, 1964

By Patriarch Athenagoras I

Translated from Oliver Clément’s French by Freddie Yam

The hardest war is the war against oneself.

One must disarm.

I waged this war for years, it was terrible.

But now I am disarmed.

I’m no longer afraid of anything, because love banishes fear.

I am disarmed of the need to be right, to justify myself by judging others.

I am no longer on guard, jealously clutching my wealth.

I accept and share.

I do not particularly care about my ideas, my projects.

If somebody suggests better ones — no, I should say good ones not better ones — I accept without regrets.

I have stopped making comparisons.

What is good, true, real, is always best for me.

That’s why I’m not afraid anymore.

When we have nothing left, we have no fear.

If one disarms oneself, if one dispossesses oneself, if one opens oneself to the Love that makes all things new, then that Love erases the bad past and makes for us a new time where everything is possible.

Translated from Oliver Clément’s French by Jean Vanier

I have waged this war against myself for many years.

It was terrible.

But now I am disarmed.

I am no longer frightened of anything

because love banishes fear.

I am disarmed of the need to be right

and to justify myself by disqualifying others.

I am no longer on the defensive,

holding onto my riches.

I just want to welcome and to share.

I don't hold on to my ideas and projects.

If someone shows me something better —

No, I shouldn't say better but good —

I accept them without any regrets.

I no longer seek to compare.

What is good, true and real is always for me the best.

That is why I have no fear.

When we are disarmed and dispossessed of self,

if we open our hearts to the God-Man

who makes all things new,

then He takes away past hurts

and reveals a new world

where everything is possible.

Earliest written version by Oliver Clément

La guerre la plus dure, c’est la guerre contre soi-même.

Il faut arriver à se désarmer.

J’ai mené cette guerre pendant des années, elle a été terrible.

Mais je suis désarmé.

Je n’ai plus peur de rien, car l’amour chasse la peur.

Je suis désarmé de la volonté d’avoir raison, de me justifier en qualifiant les autres.

Je ne suis plus sur mes gardes, jalousement crispé sur mes richesses.

J’accepte et je partage.

Je ne tiens pas particulièrement à mes idées, à mes projets.

Si l’on m’en présente des meilleurs, ou plutôt non, pas meilleurs, mais bons, j’accepte sans regrets.

J’ai renoncé au comparatif.

Ce qui est bon, vrai, réel, est toujours pour moi le meilleur.

C’est pourquoi je n’ai plus peur.

Quand on n’a plus rien, on n’a plus peur.

Si l’on se désarme, si l’on se dépossède, si l’on s’ouvre à l’Amour qui fait toutes choses nouvelles, alors, l’Amour efface le mauvais passé et nous rend un temps neuf où tout est possible.

Text copyright © 1968 Oliver Clément; text copyright © 2004 Jean Vanier; text copyright © 2018 Freddie Yam.

Athenagoras I (1886 ‒ 1972), born Aristocles Matthew Spyrou, was the 268th Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople of the Orthodox Catholic Church.

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This page was published on August 2, 2018 and last revised on August 2, 2018.


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