Item 1733 - Heart speaks to heart

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CA ON00389 1-9-1-1733


Heart speaks to heart


  • October 23, 1988 (Creation)

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3 p. of textual records

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This item is a 2 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: ‘Heart Speaks to Heart’ published in The Catholic Leader (Australia), October 1988, pp. 13 & 18. This item is identified as part 1 of a 3 part series. Versions of this article appear in Weavings, The Journal of Christian Healing and World Vision Magazine, all in 1988. See items 1727, 1729, 1732, Box. 297. Nouwen opens by describing his move from Harvard University to the l’Arche community of Daybreak near Toronto. Nouwen speaks of the house in which he lived with 6 handicapped people and 3 assistants. ‘When there are no special crises we live together in a family…We laugh a lot, we cry a lot. Nouwen then goes on to write of his apprehension in being asked to take on some of the care of Adam Arnett who was a severely handicapped man who needed help to do everything, who suffered from grand mal seizures and who could not speak. Nouwen describes his growing sense of friendship with Adam. ‘Deep speaks to deep, spirit speaks to spirit, heart speaks to heart. I started to realise that there was a mutuality of love not based on shared knowledge or shared feelings, but on shared humanity’. Nouwen states that Adam’s parents when asked what Adam gave to them said, ‘He brought us peace…’ Nouwen writes then, that Adam’s peace is ‘first of all a peace rooted in being…Being is more important than doing…His gift is his pure being with us’. Nouwen concludes this article by recalling how much of his own identity and value seemed to be tied up with what he did. ‘Adam says to me “Peace is first of all the art of being”. I know he is right because after four months of being with Adam I am discovering in myself an inner at-homeness that I did not know before’.

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Published in The Catholic Leader, 23 October 1988, p. 1, 13, 18.
Item is 1 of a series of 3 articles. See Published works series, box 297, item 1734. Archives does not have part 3 of series.
Other versions of this article appear in: Weavings 3, No.2 (March-April 1988), See Published Works, Box 297, #1727 and in The Journal of Christian Healing, Vol.10, No. 1, Spring 1988, Published Works, Box 297, #1729 and World Vision, August/September, 1988. #1732
This material was incorporated in a revised version in, Nouwen, Henri: ‘ Adam, God’s Beloved’, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y., 1997.
There is a black and white drawing of Henri and Adam inserted in this article and a small insert photo of Nouwen at the side.

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Accession Number04

2000 01


Box 297

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