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Tag Archive 'henri nouwen society'

“To the degree that we accept that through Christ we ourselves have been reconciled with God we can be messengers of reconciliation for others.  Essential to the work of reconciliation is a nonjudgmental presence.  We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label.  When we walk […]

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How do we welcome home our lost brothers and sisters?  By running out to them, embracing them, and kissing them.  By clothing them with the best clothes we have and making them our honored guests.  By offering them the best food and inviting friends and family for a party.  And, most important of all, by […]

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“Courage is connected with taking risks.  Jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorbike, coming over Niagara Falls in a barrel, or crossing the ocean in a rowboat are called courageous acts because people risk their lives by doing these things.  But none of these daredevil acts comes from the centre of our being.  They all […]

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  “Like every human organization the Church is constantly in danger of corruption.  As soon as power and wealth come to the Church, manipulation, exploitation, misuse of influence, and outright corruption are not far away. How do we prevent corruption in the Church? The answer is clear:  by focusing on the poor.  The poor make […]

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“How do we make our deaths gifts for others?  Very often people’s lives are destroyed, harmed, or permanently wounded by the deaths of their relatives or friends.  We have to do whatever we can to avoid this.  When we are near death what we say to those who are close to us, whether in spoken […]

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We are called to be as compassionate as God is compassionate. We are called to follow Jesus’ example as a son – “the younger son without being rebellious” and “the elder son without being resentful.” We are also called to grow into spiritual fatherhood – this means both father and mother, masculine and feminine. All […]

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Nouwen says the painting just as easily could have been called “The Welcome by the Compassionate Father.” In the painting, the father’s hands are the true central point. The light and the eyes of others focus on those hands. The left hand is masculine while the right hand is more feminine. So the character “is […]

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The elder son usually gets little attention in discussions of this Bible story. Yet, Nouwen explains how both Rembrandt and Henri himself had part of the dark, resentful side of the “elder son” in them. Henri admits he understands the envy that the elder son feels toward his younger brother. The elder son lived an […]

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Henri writes about the most famous person in the story: the younger son, the prodigal son. He says Rembrandt at a young age “had all the characteristics of the prodigal son: brash, self confident, spendthrift, sensual, and very arrogant”. The artist earned a lot, spent a lot, and lost a lot. The painting is about […]

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The book, “Return of the Prodigal Son”,  is  based on Nouwen’s reflections on a Rembrandt painting called Prodigal Son, which hangs in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Prologue and Introduction tell of Henri’s encounter with the painting itself in 1986 and his move to the L’Arche Daybreak community in the town of Richmond […]

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Some of my friends at St. Patrick’s may have noticed that I was scheduled to preach this weekend. As they (whoever they are) like to say nothing makes God smile more than people making plans. It turns out that this weekend is ShareLife Sunday, the annual appeal for folks to give to various Catholic Charities. […]

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How can we forgive those who do not want to be forgiven? Our deepest desire is that the forgiveness we offer will be received. This mutuality between giving and receiving is what creates peace and harmony. But if our condition for giving forgiveness is that it will be received, we seldom will forgive! Forgiving the […]

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“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, […]

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I was musing on All Saints Day about the possibility that we are all saints. It seems Henri Nouwen wondered about similar possibilities. We often limit the Church to the organization of people who identify themselves clearly as its members. But the Church as all people belonging to Christ, as that body of witnesses who […]

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It is the start of my first homily week in quite some time. When the readings get posted tomorrow you will see that the gospel focuses on the apostles and their  argument about which one of them is the greatest. To start our reflections I thought I would see what my friend Henri Nouwen has […]

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