Henri Nouwen

Latest update : 26 November 2011.

Textes en anglais

Latest articles

Mastering Evil with Good

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

The apostle Paul writes to the Romans: "Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them. ... Never pay back evil with evil. ... Never try to get revenge. ... If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink. ... Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good" (Romans 12:14-21). These words cut to the heart of the spiritual life. They make it clear what it means to choose life, not death, to choose blessings not curses. But what is asked of (...) Read more »

Waiting with Our Response

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

Choosing life instead of death demands an act of will that often contradicts our impulses. Our impulses want to take revenge, while our wills want to offer forgiveness. Our impulses push us to an immediate response: When someone hits us in the face, we impulsively want to hit back.
How then can we let our wills dominate our impulses? The key word is wait. Whatever happens, we must put some space between the hostile act directed toward us and our response. We must distance ourselves, (...) Read more »

Healing Letters

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

When you write a very angry letter to a friend who has hurt you deeply, don’t send it! Let the letter sit on your table for a few days and read it over a number of times. Then ask yourself: "Will this letter bring life to me and my friend? Will it bring healing, will it bring a blessing?" You don’t have to ignore the fact that you are deeply hurt. You don’t have to hide from your friend that you feel offended. But you can respond in a way that makes healing and forgiveness possible and (...) Read more »

Choosing Words Wisely

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

Words are very important. When we say to someone: "You are an ugly, useless, despicable person," we might have ruined the possibility for a relationship with that person for life. Words can continue to do harm for many years.
It is so important to choose our words wisely. When we are boiling with anger and eager to throw bitter words at our opponents, it is better to remain silent. Words spoken in rage will make reconciliation very hard. Choosing life and not death, blessings and (...) Read more »

Speaking Words of Love

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

Often we remain silent when we need to speak. Without words, it is hard to love well. When we say to our parents, children, lovers, or friends: "I love you very much" or "I care for you" or "I think of you often" or "You are my greatest gift," we choose to give life.
It is not always easy to express our love directly in words. But whenever we do, we discover we have offered a blessing that will be long remembered. When a son can say to his father, "Dad, I love you," and when a mother (...) Read more »

Blessing One Another

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly. Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings. We forget so quickly that we are God’s beloved children and allow the many curses of our world to darken our hearts. Therefore we have to be reminded of our belovedness and remind others of theirs. (...) Read more »

Choosing the Blessings

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

It is an ongoing temptation to think of ourselves as living under a curse. The loss of a friend, an illness, an accident, a natural disaster, a war, or any failure can make us quickly think that we are no good and are being punished. This temptation to think of our lives as full of curses is even greater when all the media present us day after day with stories about human misery.
Jesus came to bless us, not to curse us. But we must choose to receive that blessing and hand it on to (...) Read more »

Living in the End-Time

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

We are living in the end-time! This does not mean that creation will soon come to its end, but it does mean that all the signs of the end of time that Jesus mentions are already with us: wars and revolutions, conflicts between nations and between kingdoms, earthquakes, plagues, famines, and persecutions (see Luke 21:9-12). Jesus describes the events of our world as announcements that this world is not our final dwelling place, but that the Son of Man will come to bring us our full (...) Read more »

Opportunities to Witness

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

Jesus teaches us how to live in the present time. He identifies our present time as the end-time, the time that offers us countless opportunities to testify for Jesus and his Kingdom. The many disasters in our world, and all the tragedies that happen to people each day, can easily lead us to despair and convince us that we are the sad victims of circumstances. But Jesus looks at these events in a radically different way. He calls them opportunities to witness!
Jesus reminds us that (...) Read more »

Guarding Our Souls

Monday 12 September 2011, by Willem Kuypers // Henri Nouwen

The great danger of the turmoil of the end-time in which we live is losing our souls. Losing our souls means losing touch with our center, our true call in life, our mission, our spiritual task. Losing our soul means becoming so distracted by and preoccupied with all that is happening around us that we end up fragmented, confused, and erratic. Jesus is very aware of that danger. He says: "Take care not to be deceived, because many will come using my name and saying, ’I am the one’ and (...) Read more »

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