Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Henri Nouwen...

So, I've had several conversations about this man, Henri Nouwen, recently and after reading one of his books -'In the Name of Jesus' - (which is incredible!), I wanted to know more about his life and ministry.. He is not perfect, he struggled, he wept, he sinned, and in the midst of all that - he had incredible moments with Jesus. He met the Lord in ways that make my heart skip a beat and as I read his thoughts, my soul craves to know the Lord in this way - to be caught up tight in my belovedness..  Here are a few quotes I stumbled upon that I've been wrestling with, being transformed by, and redeemed through... Maybe the Lord will do the same with you :)
"Ministry means the ongoing attempt to put one's own search for God, with all the moments of pain and joy, despair and hope, at the disposal of those who want to join this search but do not know how." - Henri J.M. Nouwen
"Often we come home from a sharing session with a feeling that something precious has been taken away from us or that holy ground has been trodden upon." - Henri J.M. Nouwen
"A friend is more than a therapist or confessor, even though a friend can sometimes heal us and offer us God's forgiveness. A friend is that other person with whom we can share our solitude, our silence, and our prayer. A friend is that other person with whom we can look at a tree and say, "Isn't that beautiful," or sit on the beach and silently watch the sun disappear under the horizon. With a friend we don't have to say or do something special. With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us." - Henri J.M. Nouwen
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." -  Henri J.M. Nouwen
"Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure." - Henri J.M. Nouwen
"Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence." - Henri J.M. Nouwen
"We fail to see the place of suffering in the broader scheme of things. We fail to see that suffering is an inevitable dimension of life. Because we have lost perspective, we fail to see that unless one is willing to accept suffering properly, he or she is really refusing to continue in the quest for maturity. To refuse suffering is to refuse personal growth." - Henri J. M. Nouwen

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