Item 1742 - Adam's peace

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CA ON00389 1-9-1-1742


Adam's peace


  • May 1989 (Creation)

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4 p. of textual records

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This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Adam’s Peace’, published in Seventh Day Adventist journal ‘Signs of the Times’, May 1989, pp. 2 – 4. Although this article does not attribute its source it is taken from the journal of World Vision, August/September 1988. It was originally a talk given by Nouwen at Harvard University. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam Arnett as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen compares this with the desire of many people to strive for success and for self-worth rather than accepting much more just ‘to be’. Nouwen writes of the importance of the heart over the mind; of the heart as the center of our being where God is. Nouwen writes of the ways in which Adam helps to create community among all those who are committed to his care. Nouwen writes, ‘I’ve told you about Adam and his peace to offer you a quiet guide with a gentle heart, a little light for walking through this dark world’. As Nouwen concludes the article he writes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Jesus whose peace is found in weakness. Nouwen begins his conclusion by then turning to us and saying, ‘I say to you: do not give up working for peace. But remember that the peace you seek is not of this world…Keep your eyes on the one who is poor with the poor, weak with the weak, and rejected with the rejected. That one is the source of all peace’.

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Published in Sign of the Times (May 1989): 8-11.
This material was incorporated in a revised version in, Nouwen, Henri: ‘ Adam, God’s Beloved’, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y., 1997.
Item contains a colour illustration representing Henri carrying Adam.

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2000 01


Box 297

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