Item 1615 - Contemplation and ministry: making the clouded clear

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1615

Title

Contemplation and ministry: making the clouded clear

Date(s)

  • June 1978 (Creation)

Level of description

Item

Extent and medium

3 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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Scope and content

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Contemplation and Ministry’ published in Sojourners, June 1978, pp. 9,11-12. Nouwen begins the article by asking what is the relationship between contemplation and ministry?. He answers by stating ‘The contemplative life is a life with a vision and life of ministry is the life in which this vision is revealed to others’. He speaks then of a spiritual discipline which leads to movement in life from opacity to transparency. Nouwen uses three examples to discuss this: Nature, Time and People. With regard to Nature Nouwen believes that we are no longer able to let nature minister to us; rather we use and abuse it. With regard to Time, Nouwen suggests that time has become almost an enemy rather than a present moment full of God; a kairos. He suggests that ‘the contemplative life is the life in which time slowly loses its opaqueness and becomes transparent’. With regard to People, Nouwen states ‘ contemplation as seeing what is really there has a very significant meaning in the context of interpersonal relationships…here we can begin to see the intimate connection between contemplation and ministry’. Nouwen concludes by discussing briefly two other important aspects of contemplative prayer for ministry: simplicity and obedience.

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Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Original published article has been added to the file from accession 2010 17.
Original published article is found in Archives bound volumes: Sojourners, vol. 7, 1978.

Existence and location of copies

Preservation photocopy available in Articles by Nouwen Access Copy Box 1.

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Publication note

Published in Sojourners 7, no. 6 (June 1978): 9-12.
This item is published in a revised form in: Nouwen, Henri, Clowning in Rome; Reflections on Solitude, Celibacy, Prayer and Contemplation, Doubleday, N. Y., 1979.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession Number

2000 01; 2010 17

Location

Box 295

Previous Item Number

21-90

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