Item 1595 - The minister as the wounded healer: pastoral care and counseling

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1595

Title

The minister as the wounded healer: pastoral care and counseling

Date(s)

  • November - December 1976 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

7 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a 6 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ The Minister as the Wounded Healer’ published in Pulpit Digest, November-December 1976. Nouwen’ s first heading in this article is ‘The Wounded Minister’ and he opens by stating, ‘ This means that he who wants to announce the liberation is not just called to care for his own wounds but even to make them into the main source of his healing power’. Nouwen asks which wounds these might be and suggests the words alienation, separation, isolation and loneliness. He finds the word ‘loneliness is closest to our immediate experience and therefore most fit to make us aware of our broken condition’. Nouwen finds loneliness to be one of modern humanity’s deepest wounds, one which we make painful attempts to break through. However, he goes on to say ‘the Christian way of life is not to take away our loneliness but to protect and to cherish it as a precious gift’. Nouwen believes that the minister’s gift is to embrace this loneliness in his own life and use it to share his own broken humanity with those he serves. The next heading entitled, ‘The Healing Minister” asks the question, ‘how does healing take place?’ Nouwen speaks here of care and compassion but develops the theme of hospitality. ‘Hospitality is the virtue which allows man to speak through the narrowness of his own fears and to open his house for the stranger with the intuition that salvation comes to us in the form of a tired traveler’. In this way the minister who has come to terms with his own loneliness can offer a healing hospitality. Nouwen concludes by stating ‘No minister can save anyone. He can only offer himself as a guide to fearful people…because a shared pain is no longer paralyzing but mobilizing when it is understood as a way to liberation’.

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Preservation photocopy available in Articles by Nouwen Access Copy Box 1.

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Publication note

Published in Pulpit Digest (November - December 1976): 14-19 [372-377].

Notes area

Note

This item contains excerpts from: Nouwen, Henri, The Wounded Healer, Image Books, Doubleday, New York, 1972.

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 294

Previous Item Number

20-74

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