Item 1688 - From the house of fear to the house of love

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1688

Title

From the house of fear to the house of love

Date(s)

  • Fall 1985 (Creation)

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Item

Extent and medium

1 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘From the House of Fear to the House of Love’, published in World Peacemakers Inc., Washington, D.C., Fall 1985, p. 3. This article is identified as ‘a portion of three articles by Henri from a series entitled ‘The House of God: A Home amid and anxious world’ published in Sojourners Magazine, June, July and August-September, 1985. Nouwen begins the article by saying, ‘The words we most need to hear during these turbulent days are: “Do not be afraid”. These words from the Gospels are then followed by a list of some of the major fearful preoccupations of people in our time. Nouwen writes about how fear permeates so much of daily living and suggests that ‘Many of us Western people of the 20th century live in the house of fear’. He suggests that Jesus, when asked questions based in fear moved to ‘transform the question’ to a different level. Nouwen then asks, ‘Is it possible to live in the house of love and to listen to the questions raised there by the Lord of love?’ He identifies the ‘house of love’ not as a distant, hoped-for heaven but in Jesus, now, who is our home. ‘This is conversion: coming home. And this is what prayer is about: seeking our home where the Lord has built a home – in the intimacy of our own heart’. The fruits of this conversion as Nouwen sees it are: Intimacy, fecundity and ecstasy. Being in the home of Jesus is learning intimacy and trust which exclude no one; the fecundity that arises from this becomes ‘global’, for everyone. Nouwen finally, suggests that ‘complete joy is the reward of the fruitful life in the house of God. Ecstasy is this complete joy’. Nouwen completes this thought by suggesting that this joy, this fecundity can make nations less defensive and fearful and more inclusive.

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Note

Published in World Peacemakers (fall 1985): 3.
The item is a portion of three articles reprinted from Sojourners Magazine June to Sept. 1985 titled: The House of God: A Home Amid an Anxious World."
A revised version of this article appear in Nouwen, Henri: The Road to Peace, ed. John Dear, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y., 1998.

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Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 296

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