Item 1570 - Protecting intimacy

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1570

Title

Protecting intimacy

Date(s)

  • October 1974 (Creation)

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Item

Extent and medium

2 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 Dignity, A National Publication of the Gay Catholic Community, Vol. V, No. 10, October 1974, p.4. 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 Dignity: A National Publication of the Gay Catholic Community 5, no. 10 (October 1974): 4-5.
Article was published earlier in the National Catholic Reporter, May 10, 1974 entitled, Protecting Intimacy.
This article is published in a revised form in Chapter 1, A Suffocating Loneliness in Nouwen, Henri, Reaching Out, Image Books, Doubleday, N.Y. 1974.

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Accession Number

2000 02

Location

Box 294

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