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Saturday, September 23rd 2006

07:07:14 PM

A nugget

I've been doing a lot of what I call drop-in reads.  I'll just pick up a book, read a chapter or two (if that much), put it down and carry that nugget away with me.  Sometimes that's all you require from some books.

Anyway, here's one from today.

The Inner Voice of Love,  Henri Nouwen

Open Yourself to the First Love
(pages 28-29)

     You have been speaking a lot about dying to old attachment in order to enter the new place, where God is waiting for you.  But it is possible to end up with too many noes -- no to your former way of thinking and feeling, no to things you did in the past, and most of all, no to human relationships that were once precious and life-giving.  You are setting up a spiritual battle full of noes, and you work yourself to despair when you realize how hard it seems, if not impossible, to cut yourself off from the past. 
     The love that came to you in particular, concrete human friendships and that awaken your dormant desire to be completely and unconditionally loved was real and authentic.  It does not have to be denied as dangerous and idolatrous.  A love that comes to you through human beings is true, God-given love and needs to be celebrated as such.  When human friendships prove to be unlivable because you demand that your friends love you in ways that are beyond human capacity, you do not have to deny the reality of the love you received.  When you try to die to that love in order to find God's love, you are doing something that God does not want.  The task is not to die to life-giving relationships, but to realize that the love you received in them is part of a greater love.
     God has given you a beautiful self.  There God dwells and loves you with his first love, which precedes all human love.  You carry your own beautiful, deeply loved self in your heart.  You can and must hold on to the truth of the love you were given and recognize that same love in others who see your goodness and love you.
     So stop trying to die to the particular love you have received.  Be grateful for it and see it as what enabled you to open yourself to God's first love.

1 What You've Thought!.

Posted by JD:

I read a book one time written about Nouwen..He lived in an Abbey over this way down near Geneseo..it was a great book- tons of great quotes and observations about living a contemplative life..I think I still have it somewhere..Jd
Sunday, September 24th 2006 @ 05:18:44 PM