Item 1709 - Christ's simultaneous absence & presence: tasting the sweetness of the Lord

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1709


Christ's simultaneous absence & presence: tasting the sweetness of the Lord


  • January - February 1987 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4 p. of textual records

Context area

Name of creator


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Christ’s Simultaneous Absence and Presence’, published in the New Oxford Review, Vol. LIV, No. 1, January/February 1987, pp. 4 – 7. This item is part 5 of a 10 part series which are entries from a diary written by Nouwen during his stay at L’Arche, Trosly-Breuil, France , 1985 – 86. The first entry for February 9 is written from Freiburg and Nouwen is describing his visit to the Munster and a painting of the crowning of Mary. Nouwen finds the painting has lost touch with Mary as the poor and humble servant of the gospel. Nouwen also writes of need for Protestant and Catholic to continue the careful listening they are trying to do now. The next entry, a week later, and Lent has begun. Nouwen writes of his difficulty with fasting but his need for it. ‘I hope and pray that fasting will drive the demons away, and give me a clearer eye for the presence of the One in whose absence I fast’. The next day Nouwen is again at the Munster, at first standing in the snowy empty square outside and then within, where he goes to confession and walks home ‘with a heart full of peace’. The next day is a visit with his friends Franz, Reny and Robert Johnas to Colmar for Mass. The next two entries are reflections on the Gospel of the day, Matthew 25 on the need to serve Jesus in the ‘least’ ‘where is hidden the real joy and peace my heart searches for’. And the gospel which speaks of making peace with people you are at odds with. The last entry, dated February indicates Nouwen has returned to L’Arche and is a reflection on suffering.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Item is 5 of a series of 10 articles, later published in Nouwen, Henri: Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey,Doubleday & Co., N.Y., 1988. See also Published works series, items 1701, 1702, 1705, 1706, 1710, 1715, 1717, 1718, 1719.

Publication note

Published in New Oxford Review 54, no. 1 (January - February 1987): 4-7.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession Number

2000 01


Box 297

Previous Item Number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used




Accession area



Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places