Item 1571 - Wisdom of emptiness

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CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1571


Wisdom of emptiness


  • October 4, 1974 (Creation)

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1 p. of textual records

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This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Wisdom in Emptiness’ published in the National Catholic Reporter, October 4, 1974, p. 11. Nouwen begins the article by stating that most people need constant occupation and without it are restless and feel useless. He says ‘Being busy, active and on the move has nearly become part of our constitution’. Nouwen goes on to state ‘this is why silence is such a difficult task’. He suggests that occupation and preoccupation are our ’fearful ways to keep things the same’…’we hold on to the familiar life items which we have collected in the past’. Nouwen uses as an example of this a story by Carlos Castaneda and the story of Jesus’ exhortation that we should ‘not worry …your heavenly father knows what you need’. Nouwen concludes by saying, ‘ Conversion is an inner event that cannot be planned or organized, but needs to develop from within. Just as you cannot force a plant to grow, but can take away the weeds and stones which prevent its development, so you can… offer the space where such a conversion can take place’.

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Published in National Catholic Reporter, 4 October 1974, p. 11.
Reprinted from Monastic Studies, Mount Saviour Monastery, Pine City, NY.
There is a head shot photo of Nouwen, taken by Ron van den Bosch. See P6433 on Page 11 of Album 3 for a full-size version of the photo.
This article is published as part of Chapter 4, in Nouwen, Henri, Reaching Out:The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, Image Books, Doubleday, N.Y., 1974.

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2000 02


Box 294

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