Item 1568 - Hostility to hospitality

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1568

Title

Hostility to hospitality

Date(s)

  • September 13, 1974 (Creation)

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1 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Hostility to hospitality’ in the National Catholic Reporter, September 13, 1974, P. 11. In this article Nouwen begins by speaking of a human desire to ‘stand out, be different, exceptional’ and that we ‘are slowly seduced into the illusion that our value is seated in those few qualities that make us different from all other people’. Nouwen goes on to say that maturity however, is to accept the reality of our human condition and our union and likeness to other human beings. Nouwen points to Jesus as the one who came ‘like us’ and then states ‘And so it is God who reveals to us the movement of our life. It is not the movement from weakness to power, but the movement in which we can become less and less fearful and defensive and more and more open to the other…’. Nouwen points out the difficulty of this movement but suggests that the hostility and fear that we experience prevent us from becoming truly human. Nouwen concludes by suggesting that ‘when we have become sensitive to the painful contours of our hostility, we might start identifying the lines of its opposite toward which we are called to move: hospitality’.

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Note

Published in National Catholic Reporter, 13 September 1974, p. 11.
There is a head shot photo of Nouwen, taken by Ron van den Bosch. See P6433 on Page 11 of Album 3 for a full-size version of the photo.
A revised portion of this article was previously published in Monastic Studies, Number 10, Mount Savior Monastery, Pine City, N.Y. Easter 1974.
This article is included in a revised form in Chapter 4, Creating Space for Strangers in Nouwen, Henri, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, Image Books, Doubleday, N.Y., 1974.

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Accession Number

2000 02

Location

Box 294

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