Item 1702 - The trusting heart & the primacy of the mystical life: holy enough to walk on water

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CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1702


The trusting heart & the primacy of the mystical life: holy enough to walk on water


  • October 1986 (Creation)

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10 p. of textual records

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This item is a 10 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘The Trusting Heart & the Primacy of the Mystical Life’ published in the New Oxford Review, Vol. LIII, No.8, October 1986, pp.5 – 14. The article is identified as the second installment of a series of articles taken from a Nouwen diary written during his time as priest-in-residence at L’Arche, Trosley-Breuil, France. The excerpts from Nouwen’s diary in this article begin October 17, 1985 and end November 26. The first two entries focus on Pere Thomas’ response to Nouwen’s concern about his need for affection. He said Pere Thomas speaks about trust in human relationships and the ‘heart as the deepest source of the spiritual life…’ Nouwen writes of a visit from some friends and an experience at Mass with 3 handicapped men who were the altar servers. There are then more reflections on the mystical life, about the need for a new kind of religious order that will focus on peace, a new kind of ministry Nouwen sees he needs for the Assistants at L’Arche, his failure as he sees it to pray often enough for the dead. Nouwen then writes at length about the visit of his friend Jonas, with whom he had been angry when he failed to come before. He and Jonas speak about their relationship but Nouwen also notes their different perceptions of l’Arche. Nouwen offers reflections on his tendency to give from his abundance, ‘I see clearly how far I am from being like the two widows.(1Kings:17 – 26 and Mark 12: 41 – 44) I also realize that I cannot force myself to become like them. My spiritual task is to love God more each day, so that the many things that occupy my heart and mind will gradually lose their power over me’. Nouwen writes of a visit from Fr. George Strohmeyer of Erie, Pa. L’Arche and concludes this articles entries with a reflection of Abraham’s sacrifice of Issac.

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Item is 2 of a series of 10 articles, later published in Nouwen, Henri, Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey, Doubleday, N.Y., 1988. . See also Published works series, items 1701, 1705, 1706, 1709, 1710, 1715, 1717, 1718, and 1719.

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Published in New Oxford Review 53, no. 8 (October 1986): 5-14.

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2000 01


Box 296

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