Item 1661 - The suffering Christ: peacemaking across the Americas

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1661

Title

The suffering Christ: peacemaking across the Americas

Date(s)

  • December 1983 (Creation)

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Item

Extent and medium

4 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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Scope and content

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘The Suffering Christ’, published in The Other Side, December 1983, Issue 147, pp. 16 – 19. This article is identified as an adaptation of a talk given by Henri Nouwen during a vigil for peace and non-intervention in Central America which was held in Philadelphia, Fall 1983. Nouwen opens the article by stating, ‘As people of God we are called to know God. Yet we who live in North America will never fully know God if we ignore the way God speaks to us through the people of South America’. This theme runs through the article which asks people to become involved in the struggles and sufferings currently in Central and South America. Nouwen describes his own attempts to understand what is happening there by going himself to Nicaragua. He states that the more people he talked to, the more confused he became and the more aware of deep divisions even among Christians. He asks ‘How can one live in such a world and be faithful? How can one live in a country in which even the Christians are growing more and more suspicious of one another? How can one live in that world and find one’s own spiritual center?’ Nouwen’s answer is to look at the ‘deep truth of those words we repeat so often: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”. For Nouwen there is the revelation of God’s suffering in the men, women and children of Central America; Nouwen then sees that because Christ is risen ‘that Jesus has overcome death; he has overcome evil and agony. Nouwen then states, ‘“Christ will come again”. What does this mean for us today?’ His answer is that Christ will not ask us if we have been successful but what we have done to serve the least of Christ’s people. Nouwen concludes by asking, ‘Are we willing to be weak and vulnerable with those who suffer? Are we willing to sit in solidarity with them and share their sorrow, their anxiety, their agony?’.

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Preservation photocopy available in Articles by Nouwen Access Copy Box 2.

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Publication note

Published in the OtherSide 19, no. 12 (December 1983): 16-19.

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Note

The article was adapted from a talk given by Nouwen during a vigil for peace and non-
intervention in Central America which was held in Philadelphia, fall 1983.
On the last page of this article there is printed a petition being distributed by Nouwen and others entitled, 'A Covenant for Action". It is identified as 'A petition from Christian peacemakers to the U.S. government'.

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Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 296

Previous Item Number

41-259

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