Item 1669 - Intimacy and solidarity

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1669

Title

Intimacy and solidarity

Date(s)

  • Autumn 1984 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

4 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Intimacy and Solidarity’, published in The Round Table, by The Catholic Worker movement, St. Louis, MO, Autumn, 1984, pp. 3 – 6. Nouwen begins the article by stating, ‘The words we most need to hear during these turbulent days are: “Do not be afraid”’. Nouwen then goes on to describe the power of fear current in society. He suggests however that fear omnipresent as it is need not be considered acceptable; that it is still possible to live in ‘the house of love’. Nouwen identifies Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche movement as the one who helped him to see that ‘intimacy, fecundity and ecstasy are the three qualities of a life together in the house of love’. Nouwen goes on to talk about ‘home’,’ homelessness’ and suggests that intimacy is the first and most obvious quality of home. Nouwen writes of the connection between intimacy and what people might think is counter-intuitive, solidarity with others. The solidarity in intimacy is Nouwen’s sense of the meeting of all human beings, in the heart of Jesus. ‘Living in the intimacy of God’s home we can come to see that the God who loves us with a perfect love includes all human beings in that love without in any way diminishing the unique quality of this love for each individual person’. Nouwen concludes the article by again referencing Jean Vanier and his work with mentally handicapped people especially as it is a reminder of solidarity with the weak, the poor, the ‘inefficient’.

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Note

Published in The Round Table (autumn 1984): 3-6. by the Catholic Worker Movement, St. Louis, MO.
Established autumn dates: September 23 - December 20.
The material in this article appears in altered form in: Nouwen, Henri: Lifesigns: Intimacy, Fecundity, and Ecstasy in Christian Perspective, Image Book, Doubleday, N.Y., 1986.

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 296

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