If you don’t already know, Henri Nouwen, is one of my favorite spiritual authors and writers. There is something about his words that strikes a universal cord in all of us! This would include Catholics, Christians, and non-Christians alike! I look forward to the day (if and when) he might be brought forward for canonization, since I feel he truly gave witness to Jesus by his words and the example of his life. This said, I hope the following passage will enrich your journey through Advent. In these sometimes violent and troubles times, I pray that the following passage from Henri Nouwen’s reflections will strike a cord for everyone:
“One of the discoveries we make in prayer is that the closer we get to God, the closer we come to all our brothers and sisters in the human family. God is not a private God. The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being. As we recognize God’s presence in our own hearts, we can also recognize that presence in the heart of others, because the God who has chosen us as a dwelling place gives us the eyes to see the God who dwells in others.
When we see only demons within ourselves, we can see only demons in others, but when we see God within ourselves, we see God also in others. When we pray, we will increasingly experience ourselves as part of a human family, infinitely bound by God who created us to share, all of us, in the divine light. We are brothers and sisters, not competitors or rivals. We are children of the one God, not partisans of different gods.
To pray, that is, to listen to the voice of the One who calls us the “beloved” is to learn that voice which excludes no one. Where I dwell, God dwells with me and where God dwells with me I find all my sisters and brothers.” (Henri Nouwen)