Item 1718 - Trying to avoid temptations when among the famous & successful: on not being distracted by power & wealth

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Reference code

CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1718

Title

Trying to avoid temptations when among the famous & successful: on not being distracted by power & wealth

Date(s)

  • June 1987 (Creation)

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6 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, ‘Trying to Avoid Temptations when among the Famous and Successful’, published in New Oxford Review, June 1987, pp. 9 – 14. This item is the ninth installment in a series of articles reflecting on the year Nouwen spent at L’Arche, Trosley Breuil, France, 1985/6. The items in this installment cover dates from April 26 – May 22, 1986. The first two entries are reflections on the day’s gospel readings: asking in Jesus’ name and Jesus as the vine and the pruning of the branches. Nouwen speaks of the suffering of the pruning process ‘but they need to be cut away so that more fruit can grow’. He goes on to say, ‘The great challenge is to continue to recognize God’s pruning hand in my life’. The next item is written on Ascension day and Nouwen writes of the way this L’Arche community celebrates it. He describes the key points of a talk given by Jean Vanier on peacemaking. Nouwen then speaks of his busyness and yet his sense that he is accomplishing nothing. The remaining items cover a trip he then made to Boston, New York, Pittsburgh and Washington to visit friends and to give talks. Nouwen writes of the stress and anxiety he experiences in his friends and his desire that they should see another way of living that he himself has found in L’Arche. Nouwen meets in this trip some he calls ‘the rich and the powerful’ including Murray McDonnell in New York and members of the United States Senate in Washington and their thirst to hear about Jesus, ‘Give us a word from God, speak to us about Jesus…do not stay away from the rich who are so poor…’. Nouwen in one entry reflects on what ‘welcoming a little child in my name means’. Finally, Nouwen writes of being asked to give the commencement address at a Presbyterian Seminary. When he speaks with the seminarians he is surprised to hear them speaking more like professional businessmen than ministers. ‘When I asked them how important Jesus was for them, they said there was a tendency to speak more about God than about Jesus’. Nouwen determines that he will speak of Jesus in his address. At the commencement ceremony Nouwen meets two old friends, Fred Rogers also known as Mr Rogers and John Fife a co-founder of the sanctuary movement.

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Item is 9 of a series of 10 articles, later published in Nouwen, Henri: Road to Daybreak, A Spiritual Journey, Doubleday and Co., N.Y., 1988. See also Published works series, items 1701, 1702, 1705, 1706, 1709, 1710, 1715, 1717, 1719.

Publication note

Published in New Oxford Review 54, no. 5 (June 1987): 9-14.

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Note

Published in New Oxford Review 54, no. 5 (June 1987): 9-14.
Item is 9 of a series of 10 articles, later published in Nouwen, Henri: Road to Daybreak, A Spiritual Journey, Doubleday and Co., N.Y., 1988. See also Published works series, items 1701, 1702, 1705, 1706, 1709, 1710, 1715, 1717, 1719.

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Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 296

Previous Item Number

50-305

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