Item 1552 - The poverty of a host

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CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1552


The poverty of a host


  • April 14, 1974 (Creation)

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5 p. of textual records

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This item consists of a 5 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘The Poverty of a Host’, published in Monastic Studies, No. 10, Easter 1974 by Mount Savior Monastery, Pine City, New York, p. 65 -69. Nouwen begins this article by stating,‘ Poverty makes a good host. This paradoxical statement needs some more explanation. In the context of hospitality I like to focus on two forms of poverty’. The two forms Nouwen describes as 1) Poverty of Mind and 2) Poverty of Heart. Nouwen focuses particularly on these two forms of poverty as they apply to ministry. With regard to poverty of mind Nouwen describes it by saying, ‘ Someone who is filled with ideas, concepts, opinions and convictions cannot be a good host. There is no inner space to listen, no openness to discover the gift of the other.’ With regard to poverty of heart Nouwen says, ‘ Even more important than poverty of mind is poverty of heart. When our hearts are filled with prejudices, worries, jealousies, there is little room for the stranger…Poverty of heart creates community…’ Nouwen concludes the article with the following ‘ Ministry, diakonia, service, care – they are all expressions for an attitude toward our neighbor in which we perceive life as a gift which we have received not to own but to share.’

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Published in Monastic Studies, no. 10 (Easter 1974): 65-9.
Publication information came from "Hospitality" offprint and The Catholic Periodical and Literature Index, 1973-1974, p. 268.
First page has notation "Voor Vader en Morder Harrie May '74".
This article was published in an adapted form in Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life as Chapters 4 & 5, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, N.Y., 1975 as Chapter 6.

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2000 02


Box 294

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