While this may seem a rather grim view of life in community, what Vanier is saying is that by living closely with others we come to see how needy, vulnerable and broken we are. He points out particularly that those who may have joined a L’Arche community to be helpers come to realize that they too need help, perhaps in a different way but just as much as the so called disabled members of the group.
Living closely with others, we realize that while we have many gifts to share, we also have many gifts to receive from them as well. Living, praying and working closely with our brothers, we come to see clearly that we need each other and most of all that we desperately need God and his mercy. This is in the end very Good News.