By Henri J. M. Nouwen
Opening thoughts and basis for discussion
We need new eyes to see and new ears to hear the truth of our unity, a unity which cannot be perceived by our broken, sinful, anxious hearts.
Negative power of fear and the liberating power of love
Which questions guide your life? Which do we make our own?
Once fearful survival questions become the guiding question of our lives we tend to dismiss words spoken from the house of love as unrealities.
“Perfect love casts out all fear” says St. John in the first letter.
There is no reason to fear anymore. “It is I; do not be afraid.” (John 6:21)
The house of love is not simply a place in the afterlife.
1. Jesus spoke of Himself as the vine and a disciple as the branches- John 15:4
2. Invitation to intimacy- a call to productivity- John 15:5
3. Have joy in your life and you may be complete- John 15:11
When you contemplate the word home what do you think of? “Make your home in me as I make in you”
A sense of belonging, cared for, protected and loved.
Christian faith calls us to experience life “as going home, and death as “coming home at last”.
Fear and Intimacy
Fear makes us move away from each other at a safe distance. Fear does not create a home.
Intimacy and Love
If fear is the great enemy of intimacy, love is its true friend.
Intimacy is not a happy medium. It is a way of being in which the tension between distance and closeness is dissolved and a new horizon appears. Intimacy is beyond fear.
Prayer leads us to intimacy with love with God. In and through God we can be fulfilled to each other: in friendship, marriage and community.
Intimacy and Solidarity- Nativity
“The Word was made flesh and pitched his tent among us. (John 1:14)
The mystery of the incarnation reveals to us the spiritual dimension of human solidarity. All of humanity is taken up into God through the incarnation of the Word.
Christians are called to bear witnesses to the truth that God has gathered all people into one family.
In God’s House we are consecrated to the truth.