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Adam's peace

This item is a 2 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Adam’s Peace’ published in the journal of the Lake County Right to Life Committee, Inc., Grayslake Ill., U.S.A., February – March, 1989, pp. 10-11. This item is part one of a two part article reprinted from the World Vision journal, August/ September 1988. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam Arnett for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen goes on to say, ‘I know this is right because, after four months of being a little with Adam, I am discovering in myself the beginning of an inner at-homeness that I didn’t know before’.

Adam's peace

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Adam’s Peace’ published in the Rosebank Biblical College Journal ‘Link’, March 1989, pp. 1 -3. This item is reprinted from the journal of World Vision, August/September 1988. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam Arnett for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen compares this with the desire of many people to strive for success and for self-worth rather than accepting much more just ‘to be’. Nouwen writes of the importance of the heart over the mind; of the heart as the center of our being where God is. Nouwen writes of the ways in which Adam helps to create community among all those who are committed to his care. Nouwen writes, ‘I’ve told you about Adam and his peace to offer you a quiet guide with a gentle heart, a little light for walking through this dark world’. As Nouwen concludes the article he writes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Jesus whose peace is found in weakness. Nouwen begins his conclusion by then turning to us and saying, ‘I say to you: do not give up working for peace. But remember that the peace you seek is not of this world…Keep your eyes on the one who is poor with the poor, weak with the weak, and rejected with the rejected. That one is the source of all peace’.

Adam's peace

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Adam’s Peace’, published in Seventh Day Adventist journal ‘Signs of the Times’, May 1989, pp. 2 – 4. Although this article does not attribute its source it is taken from the journal of World Vision, August/September 1988. It was originally a talk given by Nouwen at Harvard University. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam Arnett as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen compares this with the desire of many people to strive for success and for self-worth rather than accepting much more just ‘to be’. Nouwen writes of the importance of the heart over the mind; of the heart as the center of our being where God is. Nouwen writes of the ways in which Adam helps to create community among all those who are committed to his care. Nouwen writes, ‘I’ve told you about Adam and his peace to offer you a quiet guide with a gentle heart, a little light for walking through this dark world’. As Nouwen concludes the article he writes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Jesus whose peace is found in weakness. Nouwen begins his conclusion by then turning to us and saying, ‘I say to you: do not give up working for peace. But remember that the peace you seek is not of this world…Keep your eyes on the one who is poor with the poor, weak with the weak, and rejected with the rejected. That one is the source of all peace’.

God will take us back, such as we are

This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ God will take us back, such as we are’ , published in the National Catholic Reporter, July 28, 1989. This is a photocopy only and the page is not identified. This is identified as an excerpt from Nouwen’ ‘The Road to Daybreak’. Nouwen begins by stating that he has been meditating on the story of the prodigal son. He describes the sense that the younger son is selfish but all the same is welcomed back. ‘God does not require a pure heart before embracing us’. Nouwen then describes Rembrandt’s painting of the Prodigal. Nouwen concludes by saying. ‘God is standing there with open arms, waiting to embrace me…just having me back is all he desires’.

A place where God wants to dwell

This item is a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘A Place Where God wants to dwell’, published in Compass: A Jesuit Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, September 1989, p. 34. Henri begins the article by describing his reading as a teacher of Christian spirituality and his discovery that you must be poor ‘so God can finally be with you’. Nouwen then goes on to describe his experience at l’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill Ontario and in particular his friendship with Adam Arnett. Nouwen describes Adam as a profoundly handicapped man who knows nothing of the world Nouwen has lived in and yet becomes for Nouwen, a teacher. Nouwen writes, “Daybreak turns our expectations upside down…Because of Adam’s weakness – his poverty – we can be united in ways that form the body. Because of Adam’s needs, we come to grips with our own’. Nouwen goes on to describe a l’Arche community as not a romantic place but one of struggle and a school of discipleship.

Giving without wanting anything in return is a great act of trust

This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘ Giving without wanting anything in return is a great act of trust’, published in The Liberal, Sept. 6, 1989. The article is printed in a section that is called the Clergy Column but there are no further identifying marks. This item is also found in the chapter entitled, 'Allow yourself to be fully received' in Nouwen's 'The Inner Voice of Love". Nouwen writes, ‘Giving yourself to others without expecting anything in return is only possible when you, yourself have been fully received’. The remainder of the article speaks about the need to be free so being able to give without needing affirmation or reward from others.

We must trust that every true friendship has no end

This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘We must trust that every true friendship has no end’, published in the Clergy Column of The Liberal, Sept. 13, 1989. This article was later published in Nouwen’s book ‘The Inner Voice of Love, the chapter entitled, ‘Be a Real Friend’. Nouwen opens by stating, ‘Many of our friendships come from our need for affection, affirmation and emotional support. But this need often makes us lean so heavily on others that they become overwhelmed by our demands and run away in fear and confusion’. Nouwen goes on to suggest that healthy friendship comes when we accept ourselves as deeply loved by God.

A glimpse behind the mirror: reflections on death and life

This item is an 11 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Glimpse behind the Mirror: Reflections on Death and Life’ published in Weavings, A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life, Vol. IV, No. 6, November/December 1989, PP. 13 – 23. This article is about Nouwen’s experience with possible death after a road accident. Nouwen begins the article by describing the accident, his experience of the hospital emergency room and intensive care ward. Nouwen describes his gradual awareness that he might die; that he was at peace. ‘I kept thinking that dying was quite possible and that I had to prepare myself and my friends for it. And so I let myself enter a place I had never been before: the portal of death.’ Nouwen describes his experience of the presence of the love of Jesus and his deep sense of wanting to make the journey of dying to life. Nouwen is hesitant however because he knows there are relationships unhealed and forgiveness not yet given nor received. Nouwen slowly realizes that he will not die and believes that he has work to do. ‘I believe that I am asked to proclaim the love God in a new way.’ Pondering the way Jesus was in the world Nouwen asks, ‘Can I become like Jesus and witness to what I have seen? Yes, I can live in God and speak to the human reality’. Nouwen concludes the article with a quote from Phil. 1:21 -26, words of Paul that Nouwen hopes will be his guide.

Prayer and health care

This item is an 11 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Prayer and Health Care’, published in Review by the Catholic Health Association of Canada, Vol. 17, No. 4, Winter 1989, pp.5 – 16. This article is adapted from a lecture given by Nouwen for the CHAC’s 50th anniversary Day of Celebration, October 25, 1989 in Ottawa, ON. Nouwen begins by reminding his audience of the talk he gave 12 years previously on compassion and indicates that he would now like to speak on the source of compassion: prayer. Nouwen begins by writing about Jesus’ prayer which is the source of Jesus’ life-giving ministry. ‘Every aspect of Jesus’ ministry, every word, every action and every detail of his own journey bespeaks life…’ Nouwen states that from his prayer of listening Jesus understands he is the beloved and that he wants us to know that we are also. ‘Jesus wants each of us to be just as much a child of God as he is himself’. Nouwen then goes on to describe the stresses and pressures that prevent us from being able to hear the God who desires us and our need, over time, to turn to God, to live our lives for God. Nouwen then goes on to speak about freedom which will come from prayer as we learn to listen, to move away from obsessions and compulsions, to say ‘no’ to death forces. The last half of the article speaks about the discipline of prayer in three ways: discipline of the mind, discipline of the heart, and discipline of the body. Nouwen concludes by stating, ‘ …I call all of you to be men and women of prayer, men and women truly belonging to God, men and women who at every moment of your existence and every part of yourselves will give life, not in your own name, but in the name Him who said, “I come to bring life…”

Because of Adam

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Because of Adam’, published in The Reader’s Digest, January 1990, pp. 114 – 116. This item is condensed from an article published in Weavings, March/April 1988. Nouwen begins by stating that he has recently moved from academia to living at the l’Arche community of Daybreak with men and women who have mental disabilities. He describes being assigned to help a very severely handicapped man named Adam Arnett. Nouwen describes his daily routine with the totally helpless 25 year old man and his growing awareness that Adam was doing more for him than he for Adam. ‘This severely handicapped young man, whom outsiders sometimes describe with very hurtful words, started to become my dearest companion’. Nouwen goes on to describe the very special effect Adam has on the people with whom he lives and the peace that, because of Adam’s need, helps them to work together.

God's choice

This item is an article written by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘God’s Choice’, published in the Pioneer Christian Monthly , May 1990, p. 8. This item is a short excerpt from Nouwen’s ‘The Road to Daybreak’. Nouwen opens by saying he has been listening to an interview with Jean Vanier, the founder of l’Arche who states’ The handicapped often tell us the truth, whether we want to know it or not’. Nouwen goes on to reflect his awareness of the truth of this.

Finding vocation in downward mobility

This item is an article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Finding Vocation in Downward Mobility’, published in ‘Leadership: A Practical Journal for Church Leaders’, Vol. XI, No. 3 , Summer 1990, pp. 60 – 61. Nouwen begins by speaking of the dilemma he has felt for much of his lifetime between being successful in the world’s sense and remaining ‘close to the heart of Jesus.’ He then writes of his years teaching at major universities and his sense then of being successful but not fulfilled. In time however, he felt a call to the l’Arche community of Daybreak, near Toronto where he was assigned to work with a very handicapped man named Adam. Nouwen describes how, over time, his fears began to be overcome and he realized that Adam was teaching him about love and about how to create true community. ‘To put it simply, Adam taught me about God’s love in a concrete way’.

Living in the center enables us to care

This item is a report of a talk given by Henri Nouwen to the 75th Annual Catholic Health Assembly and published in ‘Health Progress’, July-August, 1990, pp. 52 -54. This item, not written by Henri Nouwen, is reporting on the talk he gave at the assembly and it is difficult at points to know what Nouwen said and what is paraphrase. Nouwen made a number of points about the healthcare worker’s need to keep close to God. He spoke of being open to the life of the spirit by looking at four gestures that recur in the scriptures: Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it. Nouwen is reported as elaborating these points and then moves on to the disciplines required ‘to train your life to care for people’. The four disciplines Nouwen elaborated were: the discipline of the mind, the discipline of the heart, the discipline of the spirit and the discipline of the body. The concluding paragraph of this article states, ‘In the end, Fr Nouwen said, “What matters is whether your true identity is a child of God”. This centering, he says, is what enables you to remain in service of life, not survival.

A life through Adam

This item is an article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Life Through Adam’ published in British edition of The Reader’s Digest, September 1990, pp. 75 -77. This item is a slightly revised version of the article published in the January 1990 U.S. edition of The Reader’s Digest (see item 1753). This item is condensed from an article published in Weavings, March/April 1988. Nouwen begins by stating that he has recently moved from academia to living at the l’Arche community of Daybreak with men and women who have mental disabilities. He describes being assigned to help a very severely handicapped man named Adam. Nouwen describes his daily routine with the totally helpless 25 year old man and his growing awareness that Adam was doing more for him than he for Adam. ‘This severely handicapped young man, whom outsiders sometimes describe with very hurtful words, started to become my dearest companion’. Nouwen goes on to describe the very special effect Adam has on the people with whom he lives and the peace that, because of Adam’s need, helps them to work together.

A sudden trip to Lourdes: by-passing the excitement of Berlin

This item is a 6 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Sudden Trip to Lourdes, published in New Oxford Review, Vol. LVII, No.7, September, 1990, pp. 7 - 13. Nouwen begins by stating that he is writing this in Lourdes during an unexpected divergence from his planned visit to Berlin. ‘The question for me was: How to live [the next decade]? The answer came quietly: In deep communion with Jesus’. Nouwen reflects on the water – of Baptism, of healing at the baths, on the rain. Nouwen goes to confession where the priests says to him, ‘Don’t be afraid to be poor, alone, naked, stripped of all your familiar ways of doing things. God is not finished with you yet’. Nouwen reflects on the innocence of Mary, of Bernadette and of his own. He reflects on Jesus’ passion in the Stations of the Cross and on the resurrection. After three days in Lourdes, Nouwen feels it is time to leave and he returns to the L’Arche community at Trosly. Nouwen, reflects as he is in the train returning to Paris, ‘I know that every time I choose for my innocence I don’t have to worry about the next 10 years. I can be sure I am not alone, but with him who called me to live as God’s child’.

The necessity for mourning

This item consists of 3 x 1 page excerpts on death by Henri Nouwen published in ‘Alive Now!: Death, by Upper Room Books, September/October, 1990, pp. 10, 30, 60. In ‘A Letter to my Father’ Nouwen begins, ‘The death of husband, wife, child or friend can cause people to stop living toward the unknown future and make them withdraw into the familiar past’. Nouwen goes on to suggest a better way, which he states that we ‘evaluate the past as a continuing challenge to surrender ourselves to an unknown future’. (from a Letter of Consolation). In the second excerpt entitled ‘The Necessity for Mourning’ Nouwen suggests that in our society we have to make a conscious effort to mourn. ‘I know that I must not forget, that I must remember her [Nouwen’s mother] even if remembering brings with it pain, sorrow and sadness’. (from In Memoriam). In the third excerpt, entitled, ‘Consolation’, Nouwen again writing of his mother’s death, ‘Where do we see the harvest of mother’s death?’…and ends by stating, ‘the pain mother’s death caused us has led us to a new way of being…’(from A Letter of Consolation).

Hidden treasures in our lives

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Hidden Treasures in our Lives, published in Praying, by the National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, Mo., November-December 1990, No. 9, pp. 5 – 8. Nouwen begins by stating that ‘we have been given many treasures’ which sadly are often undiscovered by us. He goes on to identify four treasures in particular: ‘he [Jesus] took, he blessed, he broke, he gave’. 1) Taken. ‘It means we are chosen, that we are called’. Nouwen describes here how difficult for us to accept that we might be chosen, that we might be beloved. 2) Blessed. ‘Jesus is the blessed one and we are blessed as he is’. Here again, Nouwen suggests that it is often very hard for us to accept that we are blessed because we don’t hear it from others often enough. 3)Broken. Nouwen begins by stating that Jesus was broken and is urging us to live our brokenness under the blessing of God. ‘When we embrace our suffering in this way, it is no longer just an interruption in our life, but connects us with all who are suffering , and, further, with the God who is with the suffering…’ 3. Given. Nouwen suggests that as Jesus gave himself in the Last Supper so we are called to give ourselves to the world. He suggests this is to be a total giving not a holding back a portion of ourselves.

Tidings of great joy: every day is a holy-day

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: ‘Tidings of Great Joy: Every Day is a Holy-Day’ published in 'News from Celebration', December 1990, pp. 1,3,4. This article is identified as being adapted from Nouwen’s book, ‘Lifesigns’. Nouwen opens with words about the evolution of the celebration of Christmas from experiencing the ‘deep, lasting joy of Emmanuel, God-with-us’ to ‘the shallow happiness of busy people’. Nouwen writes of the deep joy that Jesus offers as a divine gift: ‘the joy of Jesus lifts up life to be celebrated fully’. Nouwen identifies joy and celebration as a way in which faith in the God of life is lived. Nouwen suggests that joy is deep and can be present even amidst very hard times. Finally, Nouwen, after speaking about his life in L’Arche, says that ‘community is the place where God completes our lives with his joy’.

The cutting edge: selections from the editor's library to challenge your thinking

This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen published in a column from ‘The War Cry’ entitled ‘The Cutting Edge’ by the Salvation Army, February 23, 1991, p. 3. This item is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Nouwen’s book, ‘Clowning in Rome’, 1979. Nouwen is writing on the need to pray and opens by suggesting that we tend to think of prayer as one thing to do among many. He then goes on to speak of St Paul’s injunction to pray without ceasing. ‘[Paul] asks us to pray day and night, in joy and in sorrow, at work and at play without intermissions or breaks’. The remainder of the article discusses how we may do this but references further material in the chapter which is not included in this article.

Story demonstrates true meaning of compassion

This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Story demonstrates true meaning of compassion’, published in The Liberal, March 13, 1991, p. B7. The Liberal appears to be a publication from Richmond Hill, ON. This item is a story of an old man who risks his own life to save a scorpion caught in a branch by water. It is not an original story by Nouwen but he concludes by stating, ‘[This story] challenges us to show that to embrace is more human than to reject, that to kiss is more human than to bite, to behold is more human than to stare, to be friends is more human than to be rivals, to make peace more human than to make war – in short that compassion is more human than strife.’

Unchanged by the world

This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Unchanged by the World’ published in Sojourners, August-September, 1991, Vol. 20, No. 7, pp. 28/29. This volume of Sojourners is noted as being the ‘20th Anniversary Issue’ and Nouwen’s article is referencing that. Nouwen opens the article by stating that the life and work of Sojourners reminds him of the little boy who asked the prophet ‘Dear Prophet, why do you keep prophesying when nobody listens to your words and when nobody changes their lives? The remainder of the article suggests that it is Sojourners future role ‘to keep calling its readers to live the brokenness of the world and their own brokenness under the blessing.’

Living in the house of love

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Living in the House of Love’ published in ‘Alive Now, Images of Faith’, September – October, 1991, pp. 42 – 45. This item is a revised excerpt from Nouwen’s book ‘ Behold the Beauty of the Lord’. This excerpt is a reflection on Andre Rublev’s icon ‘The Holy Trinity’..Nouwen introduces the article by stating ‘The spiritual life keeps us aware that our true house is not the house of fear…but the house of love, where God resides’. He describes this as the essence of the spiritual life and speaks about the icon as reflecting ‘the house of love’. From meditation upon this house of love we can move into the world to be present to but not to be part of, this world. Nouwen then speaks about the effect that contemplation of this icon had upon him. Nouwen also speaks of how contemplation of the icon‘reveals the inner beauty of God’ and speaks of the link between the cross and love in our world today. Finally, Nouwen concludes by saying, ‘I pray that Rublev’s icon will teach many how to live in the midst of a fearful, hateful and violent world while moving always deeper into the house of love’.

There's a lot of pain

This item is a two page article by Henri Nouwen entitled 'There's a lot of pain...' published in Alive Now! Novemeber-December, 1991, p. 44-45. It is the first article by Nouwen featured in this publication. The theme of this issue is ‘Loneliness’ and this article is identified as an excerpt taken from a lecture Nouwen presented at the Scarritt-Bennett Center. The article discusses the pain and brokenness of human relationships and love and heart given and shared by God.

But what then can we do

This item is a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘But what then can we do?’ published in Alive Now! November-December, 1991, p. 47. It is the second article by Nouwen featured in this publication. The first article is entitled 'There's a lot of pain...' The theme of this issue is ‘Loneliness’ and this article is identified as an excerpt from Nouwen’s ‘Reaching Out’. Nouwen begins by asking ‘But what then can we do with our essential aloneness which so often breaks into our consciousness as the experience of a desperate sense of loneliness?’ Nouwen goes on to speak of the need to convert our loneliness into a fruitful solitude.

A time to mourn, a time to dance

This item is a 2 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Time to mourn, a time to dance’, published in the Toronto Catholic New Times, mediation section, 15 March, 1992, Vol. 16, No.6, pp. 8-9. It is indicated that this is taken from a talk by Nouwen given to ‘Celebration 25’ honouring the 25th anniversary of the founding of Christian Counselling Services in Toronto. It is part one of five parts. The archives has only the first 3 parts of the series. In the Introduction, Nouwen points to his sense that healing is not strictly the preserve of professionals. ‘It belongs to the heart of our Christian vision that all of us, whether we have degrees or not, are called to be healers’ through the Holy Spirit. Nouwen goes on to suggest however that the ‘first thing the Healing Spirit within us calls us to do is to mourn our losses…’. Nouwen identifies the many kinds of losses people experience and to suggest that ‘our survival instinct is to live as if they are not real, as if life goes on as usual nothing really happens’. Nouwen goes on to say, ‘true healing starts at the moment that we can face the reality of our losses and let go of the illusions of control…I do believe that the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of love, is given to us to reach out beyond our fears and embrace the reality of our losses. That is what mourning is all about’.

Reborn from above

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ Reborn from Above’, published in Spiritual Life, Vol. 38, No. 1, Spring 1992 by the Discalced Carmelite Friars of Washington, D.C., pp. 29 – 32. Nouwen opens the article with a quote from the Gospel of John ‘No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above’ and ‘ what is born of human nature is human, what is born of the Spirit is Spirit’. Nouwen suggests that these are hard words for humans even though we all want a rebirth; freedom from our frustrations, pains and failures. Nouwen states however, that we also want to control the process. Nouwen goes on to point to two ways to seem to reach the goal: by our own discipline and effort and by the work of the Holy Spirit. The first he suggests, may be adequate but it is not what Jesus intends. ‘How can we describe the spiritual rebirth of which Jesus speaks…? An adequate description is impossible… However we can indicate something of what it is and what it is not’. After Nouwen writes of this he then he asks, ‘can we do something to be reborn from above…? Nouwen suggests that the greatest part of the answer is the ‘way of poverty’ in which we discover our own and other’s poverty and are able to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in all. Finally, Nouwen points out that the rebirth from above is never final in this life.

Creating space to mourn our losses

This item is a half- page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Creating Space to Mourn our Losses’ published in the meditation section of The Catholic New Times, March 29, 1992, p. 3. The item is identified as Part Two of a five-part series featuring the text of a talk by Nouwen for the 25th anniversary of Christian Counselling Services in Toronto. The archives has only the first 3 parts. Nouwen begins by stating ‘ When it is true that we all are healers through the Spirit who lives within us, we are called to create safe spaces to mourn our losses’. Nouwen describes the society we live in as one which does not support weakness, vulnerability, mourning. This, Nouwen suggests, gives rise to secrets, secrets which people hold in and do not share and therefore, do not mourn. ‘The Spirit of God within us says: “Mourn, my people, mourn. Let your pain rise up in your heart and burst forth in you with sobs and cries”’. Nouwen goes on to say that insofar as we allow ourselves to feel our pain ‘Healing starts not where our pain is taken away, but where it can be shared and seen as part of a larger pain.’

Adam's peace

This item is a one-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Adam’s Peace’, published in ‘The Christian Reader’, March/April 1992, p.40. The article is identified as an excerpt from, ed. Robert Durback: ‘Seeds of Hope’, a Henri Nouwen Reader. Nouwen opens the article by describing his move from academia to the L’Arche community of Daybreak and his introduction to Adam, a severely handicapped man for whom Nouwen is asked to help care. Nouwen describes his initial discomfort but after time realizes that this man ‘who by many outsiders is considered an embarrassment, a useless creature who should not have been allowed to be born, had started to become my dearest companion’. In time Nouwen recognizes the presence of Jesus, the Prince of peace in him.

Forgiveness: the name of love in a wounded world

This item is a 10 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Forgiveness: The Name of Love in a Wounded World’, published in ‘Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life’, Vol. VII, No. 2, March/April 1992, pp. 6 – 15. The thoughts found in this article are identified as later to be found in Nouwen’s book, “The Life of the Beloved’. Nouwen begins the article by stating that in the stress and pressure of modern life he had ‘begun to wonder whether there was a single, simple word that might address the deep yearning of contemporary men and women for hope, trust, love and a vision larger than their own changing perspectives…That word is Beloved’. Nouwen goes on to describe how he began to see that word as applying to himself and to all; that it is a word of love from our ‘first love’, God. Nouwen sees self-rejection as one of the most powerful forces to be overcome in order to see ourselves as beloved. Nouwen suggests that we tend to seek our self-worth from human loves which of their nature will fail us. Nouwen goes on to describe ‘the experience of being called the Beloved is the experience of communion’, which he believes is the longing of all human hearts. ‘The treasure of communion is hidden in the ground on which we stand. That is our holy ground’. Nouwen then writes of the power of forgiveness, ‘Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly’…’we need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour…’ Finally Nouwen writes of the freedom to love that comes with awareness of being the Beloved. ‘Once we are free from the expectation of rewards, we no longer select those to whom we offer our love’.

The spiritual life: inward disciplines

This item is a two page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Inward Disciplines: The Spiritual Life’, published by Alive now!, March/April, 1992, pp. 26-7. This item is a short excerpt from a lecture by Henri Nouwen at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1991. Nouwen begins by quoting from an unknown translation of Ps. 139. Nouwen then states ‘The spiritual life starts at the place where you can hear God’s voice’. Nouwen concludes this short excerpt by stating that the spiritual life also starts ‘where you dare to claim the first love’.

Living under God's blessing: wholeness

This item is an article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘ Living Under God’s Blessing’ published in Alive Now!, March/April 1992, p.5. This item is the first of two excerpts from Nouwen’s lecture at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1991. The second article is found in file 1774, Box 298. Nouwen begins by saying’ Jesus came to reveal to you that you are as much a child of God as Jesus is…’ He concludes this excerpt by stating, ‘The great call of Jesus is to put your brokenness under the blessing’.

You can go home again

This item is a two page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘You can go home again’, published in Salt: for Christians who seek social justice’ by the Claretians, Vol. 12, No. 4, April 1992, pp. 29 – 30. This article is identified as excerpts from Nouwen’s forthcoming book The Return of the Prodigal Son. Nouwen begins the article by describing his first encounter with Rembrandt’s painting and his powerful response to it coming as it was at a vulnerable time for Nouwen. Nouwen then goes on to write of the biblical story from which the painting and Nouwen’s writing is coming. Nouwen relates the story of the younger son and Nouwen’s own sense of finding himself in the story. ‘Over and over again I have left home. I have fled the hands of blessing and run off to faraway places searching for love! This is the great tragedy of my life and of the lives of so many I meet on my journey’. Nouwen concludes, ‘ Here the mystery of my life is unveiled. I am loved so much that I am left free to leave home. But the Father is always looking for me with outstretched arms to receive me back…’

The freedom to dance

This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘The Freedom to Dance’, published in the Meditation section of the Catholic New Times of Toronto, ON., April 12, 1992, p. 3. The item is from Nouwen's lecture "A Time to Mourn. A Time to Dance" which he gave at Christian Counselling Services' "Celebration 25," on February 4 and 5, 1992 in Toronto. Nouwen begins the article by stating, ‘The Spirit of healing that makes us mourn is the same Spirit that makes us dance’. Nouwen suggests that mourning and dancing are never separated. He goes on to say ‘To heal is to teach people to dance in the awareness that their many losses, when mourned deeply, are the basis of the choreography of their dance’. Nouwen asks, ‘Can you feel the freedom that rises up in you when you have been stripped naked and have nothing to inhibit your movements anymore?’ Nouwen concludes the article by telling a story about a friend of his who visited his father who has Alzheimer’s.

An invitation to joy

This item is a 5 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘An Invitation to Joy’ published in the journal ‘Praying’ by the National Catholic Reporter, May-June 1992, pp. 4 – 9. This item is identified as an excerpt from Nouwen’s ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’. Nouwen begins the article by stating, ‘I am not used to the image of God throwing a big party’. He then goes on to identify biblical passages where God is said to be throwing banquets and rejoicing and to suggest that ‘Celebration belongs to God’s kingdom. God not only offers forgiveness, reconciliation and healing, but wants to lift up these gifts as a source of joy for all who witness them’. Nouwen writes of his own inability to see joy in a dark world but notes how Jesus sees joy and cause for celebration in very small, seemingly insignificant moments. ‘For God numbers never seem to matter’. ‘People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness but they choose not to live in it’. Nouwen concludes by saying ‘When I first saw Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son, I never could have dreamt that becoming the repentant son was only a step on the way to becoming the welcoming father. I now see that the hands that forgive, console, heal and offer a festive meal must become my own’.

The duet of the Holy Spirit: when mourning & dancing are one: healing life's hurts

This item is a 7 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘The Duet of the Holy Spirit: When Mourning and Dancing are One’, published in New Oxford Review, Vol. LIX, No. 5, June 1992, pp. 5 – 12. Parts of this article have been published in The Catholic New Times, Toronto, March/April 1992 and in a revised form in a posthumous book, ‘Turn My Mourning into Dancing, 2001. Nouwen begins the article by writing about healing as the skill not only of healing professionals but of all: ‘ It belongs to the heart of our Christian vision that all of us, whether we have degrees or not, are called to be healers’. Nouwen then goes on to suggest that ‘healing is mourning as well as dancing’; that without facing and accepting the dark side of our existence healing cannot occur. ‘But true healing calls us to face the harsh realities of our lives and to come to grips with the truth that, while we live in a world subject to the power of the Evil One, we belong to God’. Nouwen’s next focus is upon facing and mourning our many losses in life rather than pretending all is fine. Nouwen suggests that we need to let go our illusions of control in order for true healing to occur. We need, as well, to help others to do this if we ourselves are to be healers and we all need a safe place to enter this process. Nouwen then goes on to say ‘To heal is to let the Spirit call us to dance’. ‘Can you feel the freedom that rises up in you when you have been stripped naked and have nothing to inhibit your movements …’ Nouwen describes two movements of the dance: forgiveness and celebration and concludes the article identifying the presence then of the song of gratitude and of joy.

Blessed

This item is a 5 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Blessed’, published in Living Prayer, Vol. 25, No.4, July-August, 1992, pp. 3 – 7. This article is identified as an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Nouwen entitled, The Life of the Beloved. Nouwen opens with two stories of blessing; one about a young man at a Bar Mitzvah being blessed by his parents and the other about a woman at the L’Arche community of Daybreak asking for a blessing. In each story Nouwen speaks of our need to be blessed, ‘To give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer’. Nouwen goes on, ‘ We also need an ongoing blessing that allows us to hear in an ever-new way that we belong to a loving God who will never leave us alone…’ Nouwen goes on to offer two suggestions for claiming our blessedness. The first is prayer in which, over time as we learn stillness, we can ‘hear’ God’s word of blessing. The second is ‘the cultivation of presence’. In this, Nouwen suggests, we learn to be present to the blessings that come to us each day, no matter how busy or unhappy or worried. Nouwen concludes, ‘ As you and I walk the streets of the cities in which we live, we can have no illusions about the darkness…Yet all of these people yearn for a blessing. That blessing can be given only by those who have heard it themselves.’

The beloved of God: the spiritual search for meaning in living and dying

This item is a 2 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled. ‘The Beloved of God’, published in Sojourners, Vol. 21, No. 8, October 1992, pp. 22-23. This item is identified as an excerpt from Nouwen’s forthcoming book, Life of the Beloved. Nouwen begins by writing, ‘As the one who is chosen, blessed, broken and given, you are called to live your life with a deep inner joy and peace’. Nouwen goes on to say that our lives are changed radically when we recognize ourselves as being sent into the world. ‘Put simply, life is a God-given opportunity to become who we are, to affirm our own true spiritual nature, claim our truth, appropriate and integrate the reality of our being, but most of all , to say yes to the One who calls us the Beloved’. Nouwen goes on to write then, of the meaning of our life and death; the reality of the ‘hereafter’ and suggests that ‘Eternal life is not some great surprise that comes at one at the end of our existence in time; it is rather, the full revelation of what we have been and have lived all along’.

Choosing joy

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Choosing Joy’ published in ‘New Covenant’, November 1992, pp. 7 -9. This item is identified as an excerpt from Nouwen’s ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’. Nouwen begins by stating ‘I am not used to the image of God throwing a big party’. Nouwen goes on to write of the various instances in scripture in which Jesus speaks about banquets of celebration. ‘Celebration belongs to God’s kingdom. God not only offers forgiveness, reconciliation and healing, but wants to lift up these gifts as a source of joy for all who witness them’. Nouwen goes on to write of Rembrandt’s painting of the Prodigal and his reflections on it, finding himself in the returning son, the older son and finally, the father. ‘God rejoices. Not because the problems of the world have been solved, not because all human pain and suffering have come to an end…no, God rejoices because one of his children who was lost has been found’. Nouwen describes his difficulty in being able to rejoice in small things, scarcely noticed things. ‘The father of the prodigal son gives himself totally to the joy that his returning son brings him. I have to learn from that. I have to learn to “steal” all the real joy there is to steal and lift it up for others to see’. Nouwen goes on to examine the ‘radical difference’ between cynicism and joy. ‘Every moment of each day I have the chance to choose between cynicism and joy’. Nouwen ends by remembering that the younger son must grow in maturity and that he, Nouwen, and we are called not just to recognize ourselves in the two sons, but to become the father.

Reborn from above

This item is a 13 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ Reborn from Above’, ‘Reflections’ by the Catholic Guild for the Blind, Vol. 1, No. 3, November 1992, pp.53 - 65. It is identified as first published in Spiritual Life, Vol. 38, No. 1, Spring 1992 by the Discalced Carmelite Friars of Washington, D.C., pp. 29 – 32. Nouwen opens the article with a quote from the Gospel of John ‘No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above’ and ‘ what is born of human nature is human, what is born of the Spirit is Spirit’. Nouwen suggests that these are hard words for humans even though we all want a rebirth; freedom from our frustrations, pains and failures. Nouwen states however, that we also want to control the process. Nouwen goes on to point to two ways to seem to reach the goal: by our own discipline and effort and by the work of the Holy Spirit. The first he suggests, may be adequate but it is not what Jesus intends. ‘How can we describe the spiritual rebirth of which Jesus speaks…? An adequate description is impossible… However we can indicate something of what it is and what it is not’. After Nouwen writes of this he then he asks, ‘can we do something to be reborn from above…? Nouwen suggests that the greatest part of the answer is the ‘way of poverty’ in which we discover our own and other’s poverty and are able to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in all. Finally, Nouwen points out that the rebirth from above is never final in this life.

All is grace

This item is a 4-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘All is Grace’, published in ‘Weavings’, by The Upper Room, Vol. VII, No. 6, November/December, 1992, pp. 38 – 41. Nouwen begins the article by describing a time at the l’Arche Daybreak community when a couple who were assistants were leaving to start a new community. Nouwen noticed that people spoke of gratitude for their time in terms of the good things that were achieved but spoke of the difficult or painful things as things to be forgotten. Nouwen then describes his own realization that in fact, ‘Gratitude as the gospel speaks about it embraces all of life’. Nouwen goes on to point out, ‘Jesus calls us to recognize that gladness and sadness are never separate, that joy and sorrow really belong together, and that mourning and dancing are part of the same movement’. Nouwen then points to what he calls ‘the discipline of gratitude’ and concludes speaking about the ‘celebration of gratitude’.

L'Arche in North America: home, healing and hope

This item is a 5-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘L’Arche in North America: Home, Healing and Hope’, published in ‘Letters of L’Arche’, No. 76, 1992, pp. 2 – 6. Nouwen is writing this at the time of the funeral of Pere Thomas Philippe, one of the founders of L’Arche. Nouwen senses that Pere Thomas’ legacy of the vision of L’Arche will continue to live, ‘he can bring a rich harvest’. Nouwen goes on to ask ‘how to be l’Arche in North America’? Nouwen sees three core words that will bear much fruit: Home, Healing and Hope. I. Home: Nouwen sees L’Arche as being home especially for the core members many of whom have experienced living in institutional places that were not ‘home’. Nouwen goes on to describe the sense of homelessness that many in North America experience: actual homelessness, but also places where people live without a welcome, places where people live in loneliness, places where people live alone together. Nouwen notes that the Assistants who come to L’Arche have and do experience this homelessness as well. Nouwen sees that home at L’Arche provides a place to be home but also to be a place of mission and a recognition that we are still journeying home. II. Healing: ‘The great paradox of L’Arche is that, while no one is cured, everyone is healed’. Nouwen speaks of the great suffering that has been experienced by the core members but also by the Assistants. All seek healing. ‘It is clear that we are all handicapped that we all need to offer each other healing by the way we live together’. III. Hope: ‘L’Arche invites people, barely respected or acknowledged by our society, to become witnesses of hope’. ‘Joy, peace, acceptance, truthfulness, the ability to welcome, to forgive and to celebrate; these are only some of the gifts handicapped people have to offer…This knowledge of the ‘gift of the poor’ has been a great inspiration in L’Arche over the years, and has made L’Arche into a true sign of hope’.

Broken

This item is a 5- page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Broken’ published in ‘Living Prayer’ by Living Prayer Inc., Barre, VT, Vol. 26, No. 2, March – April 1993, pp. 3 – 7. This item is a slightly abbreviated chapter from Nouwen’s book ‘Life of the Beloved’. Nouwen is writing this as a letter to a secular friend. Nouwen begins by saying ‘Our sufferings and pains are not simply bothersome interruptions of our lives; rather they touch us in our uniqueness…the way I am broken tells you something unique about me’. Nouwen goes on to suggest that the most painful brokenness in society is what he calls ‘inner brokenness – a brokenness of the heart’. He suggests that the reaction of many is to feel rejected, alone and cast out by God. Nouwen offers two ways we may respond to our brokenness: befriending it and second, putting it under the blessing. Nouwen suggests that though looking the brokenness in the eye and befriending it is counter-cultural because we want to move away from pain, it is the way to healing. Nouwen then goes on to write about putting brokenness under the blessing as in fact, a precondition for befriending it. ‘Then our brokenness will gradually come to be seen as an opening toward the full acceptance of ourselves as the Beloved’. Nouwen concludes with some comments about how the music of Leonard Bernstein has helped him to understand what he is now writing about.

The 3 temptations

This item is a 2-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘The Three Temptations: # 3,The temptation to be powerful’, published in Goodnews by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal In England, No. 105, May/June 1993. This is part 3 of a three part series of which the archives has only this. It is however, a slightly revised version of an article originally published in Sojourners, July 1981 and it seems likely that parts 1 and 2 will be as published in Sojourners (box 295, # 1637). Nouwen refers in the opening to this being the most seductive temptation of the 3 Jesus was faced with in the desert. Nouwen goes on to say that ‘there is probably no culture in which people are so unabashedly encouraged to seek power as ours’. Nouwen points out how we cannot believe that any good comes from powerlessness but that the call of Jesus was to just that. But that ‘only undivided attention to God can make a powerless ministry possible’. Nouwen concludes by stating, ‘Only when all of our service finds its source and goal in God can we be free from the desire for power and proceed to serve our neighbours for their sake and not our own’.

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