The Way of the Heart


I was just reading Henri Nouwen’s The Way of The Heart,  p.11.  He quotes my favorite  contemplative Thomas Merton:  “Society…was regarded [by the Desert Fathers] as a shipwreck from which each single individual man had to swim for his life…These were men who believed that to let oneself drift alone, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster.”  The Wisdom of the Desert. (New York: New Directions Publishing Corp.,1960),p.3

Nouwen goes on to say, “This observation leads us straight to the core of the problem.  Our society is not a community radiant with the love of Christ, but a dangerous network of domination and manipulation in which we can easily get entangled and lose our soul.  The basic question is whether we ministers of Jesus Christ have not already been so deeply molded by the seductive powers of our dark world that we have become blind to our own and other people’s fatal state and have lost the power and motivation to swim for our own lives.”

That writing is almost 30 years old now and yet many in the church go unchanged, treading water at best!  

Oh no, I did it again.

One thought on “The Way of the Heart

  1. Perhaps some have been lulled to sleep by the lullaby of the American promise for success, not realizing that the things they would give their lives for (success, significance, safety…) are the very things killing them while they go on in hot pursuit. But alas, there is a remnant. There always has been. God will always have a voice in the midst of it all, for He cannot cease to be and He is in everything, speaking in it all, if we’ll listen. I’m imagining a future distinct from my past, distinct from my stories, distinct from everyone’s projection of what they think I should be and do. I just want to please Jesus, at least I just want “to want” to please Jesus. For there will be one voice that matters, and alone I shall stand and hear a solo voice say “Well done” or “Please leave.” That voice helps me clarify the rest of them.

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