Item 1553 - A time for quiet, a time for action

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1553

Title

A time for quiet, a time for action

Date(s)

  • [April 26, 1974] (Creation)

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Item

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1 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a half page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ A Time for Quiet, a Time for Action’ published in the National Catholic Reporter, April 26, 1974, p.11. This article begins with a quotation from Mark 1:32 -39, “In the morning long before dawn he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there”. Nouwen then points to all the action in Jesus’ life that surrounds these words and develops the idea of the importance to Jesus’ fulfillment of his ministry of these moments alone and at prayer. “ In the lonely place Jesus finds the courage to follow God’s will and not his own, to speak God’s words and not his own, to do God’s work and not his own”. He then states as the goal of this article, “I want to reflect on this lonely place in our own lives”. Nouwen suggests that we tend to know that we too need a lonely place and silence and that without it there is a danger that our lives will be governed only by what we ‘do’. He says, “practically all of us think about ourselves in terms of our contribution to life”. In the remainder of the article Nouwen suggests that our attempts to find our identity in the busyness of the world is leading many people to depression and anxiety. Nouwen emphasizes the importance then of silence and solitude in human life: “ Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures”.

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Note

Published in National Catholic Reporter, [26 April 1974], p. 11.
"4/26/74" written on the top of the article.
This article was published in an altered form in the First Meditation chapter in: Henri J. M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude, Three Meditations on the Christian Life, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1974.
There is a head shot photo of Nouwen, taken by Ron van den Bosch. See P6433 on Page 11 of Album 3 for a full-size version of the photo.

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Accession Number

2000 02

Location

Box 294

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