Henry Nouwen

If you don’t know, you need to. If you haven’t read Nouwen, you need to.

His book, The Inner Voice of Love got me through a hard re-entry phase back into the US. It’s a small one, packed with intense doses of grace, love and healing through the dark night of the soul. My roommate tells me his book on prayer is life changing as well, and I believe her. I’ve got Wounded Healer on my night-stand, and am going through the Way of the Heart as he uses the dessert fathers to teach solitude, silence and prayer.

I subscribe to the daily meditation from the Henry Nouwen society, and am refreshed with little nuggets like this below that are not just great insights anymore. They are reenforcing what I’m leaning in seminary – this very important fact that solidarity with the poor and downtrodden is core to the church.

The Weakest in the Center

The most honored parts of the body are not the head or the hands, which lead and control. The most important parts are the least presentable parts. That’s the mystery of the Church. As a people called out of oppression to freedom, we must recognize that it is the weakest among us – the elderly, the small children, the handicapped, the mentally ill, the hungry and sick – who form the real center. Paul says, “It is the parts of the body which we consider least dignified, that we surround with the greatest dignity” (1 Corinthians 12:23).

The Church as the people of God can truly embody of the living Christ among us only when the poor remain its most treasured part. Care for the poor, therefore, is much more than Christian charity. It is the essence of being the body of Christ.

Links to the Henry Nouwen society here, and the daily emails here taken from Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey.

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