Item 1555 - Protecting intimacy

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CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1555

Title

Protecting intimacy

Date(s)

  • [May 10, 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, ‘Protecting Intimacy’ published in the National Catholic Reporter, May 10, 1974. Nouwen begins this article by stating,”A most painful thing to say is that intimate love does not take our loneliness away but protects it and converts it into solitude. Therefore intimacy is first of all a protecting intimacy allowing us to move from loneliness to solitude.” Nouwen then goes on to give an example of a family whose mode of living is to avoid pain in their relationships. Nouwen suggests that “this world is full of lonely people trying hard to love each other without succeeding. The question is if this is not largely due to the fact that we are not able to face the pain of our loneliness”. Nouwen concludes by stating,“ Intimacy,..does not mean entering the other with an intruding curiosity or a hungry need for satisfaction. Intimacy touches gently, intimacy does not take, but gives, does not suffocate but lets grow, does not conquer and possess but sets free and keeps free.”

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Note

Published in National Catholic Reporter, [10 May 1974].
"5/10/74" written on the article; Archives presumed this to be 10 May 1974 .
The themes of solitude and loneliness and the need for quiet solitude in life are developed further in Nouwen's books: Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1974 and Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, Image Books, Doubleday, New York, 1975
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.

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