“I’d rather live my life with the peace of knowing that everything I do leads me closer to my death than spend another second fearing ways to hold on to life that I forget how to live.“
Nouwen taught me that “Once we have come to the deep inner knowledge—a knowledge more of the heart than of the mind—that we are born out of love and will die into love, that every part of our being is deeply rooted in love, and that this love is our true Father and Mother, then all forms of evil, illness, and death lose their final power over us and become painful but hopeful reminders of our true divine childhood.”
The apostle Paul expressed this experience of the complete freedom of the children of God when he wrote, “I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power, nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever, will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:38–39).
Will this top me from fearing heights or snakes or death? I certainly hope so. I’d rather live my life with the peace of knowing that everything I do leads me closer to my death than spend another second fearing ways to hold on to life that I forget how to live. The same, I believe, can be said about love. Don’t be afraid. Give life a try.
Text excerpts taken from "You are the Beloved" by Henri J.M. Nouwen. Convergent Books, 2017.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”