Item 1727 - The peace that is not of this world

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1727

Title

The peace that is not of this world

Date(s)

  • March - April 1988 (Creation)

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Item

Extent and medium

12 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a 12 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘The Peace that is Not of this World’ published in ‘Weavings’ Vol. III, No. 2, March/April 1988, pp. 23 – 34. Nouwen introduces the article 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. Nouwen describes his own apprehension at being asked to take early morning and evening responsibility for Adam. 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. As Nouwen concludes the article he writes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace ; Jesus whose peace is found in weakness. Nouwen then goes on to speak of the larger international world, ‘I am only saying that the seeds of national and international peace are already sown on the soil of our own suffering and the suffering of the poor, and that we truly can trust that these seeds, like the mustard seeds of the gospel, will produce large shrubs in which many birds can find a place to rest.’

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Note

Published in Weavings 3, no. 2 (March - April 1988): 23-34.
This material was incorporated in a revised version in, Nouwen, Henri: ‘ Adam, God’s Beloved’, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y., 1997.
Another version of this article is found in Published works series, box 297, item 1729.

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Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 297

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