At Home In Your Own House

Most Christian Leaders are used to thinking in terms of large-scale organization: getting people together in congregations, schools, and hospitals and running the show as a circus director.  They have become unfamiliar with, and even somewhat afraid of, the deep and significant movements of the Spirit within.  I am afraid that in a few decades the Church will be accused of having failed at its most basic task: to offer people creative ways to communicate with the divine source of human life.  

But how can we avoid this danger?  I think by no other way than to enter the heart, the center of our existence, and become familiar with the complexities of our inner lives.  As soon as we feel at home in our own house--discover the dark corners as well as the light spots, the closed doors as well as the drafty rooms--our confusion will evaporate, our anxiety will diminish, and we will become capable of creative work and a spiritually informed life.

The key work here is articulation.  People who can articulate the movements of their inner lives, who can give names to their varied experiences, need no longer be victims of themselves but are able slowly and consistently to remove the obstacles that prevent the Spirit from entering.  They can create space for the One whose heart is greater than theirs, whose eyes see more than theirs, and whose hands can heal and form more than theirs.

- Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit

__

I am not at home in my own house.  I haven't been for a while now.  I do not like seeing the cobwebs and spending time dwelling in memories lingering in the drafty rooms.  But by the end of reading this book, I will.


Comments

  1. Wow. This line really grabbed me:

    "People who can articulate the movements of their inner lives, who can give names to their varied experiences, need no longer be victims of themselves but are able slowly and consistently to remove the obstacles that prevent the Spirit from entering."

    One of my friends really loves Henri Nouwen, but I've never read much of his writings. I'd love to hear more. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I learned about Henri Nouwen from my favorite Grandaunt. Before she passed away in 2007 she left me all her books and her commonplace journals filled with quotes she's collected over the years. I like Henri Nouwen because his words are very gentle and he resonates with the wounded in a very vulnerable and intimate way. :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Lectio Divina | A Reflection on Yehuda Amichai's "The Amen Stone"

Believing to See

Sacred Days