Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Private Lives ~ Henri Nouwen


We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, "Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else's business." But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.

Jesus says, "No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house" (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let's not have "double lives"; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public.

**artist credit Ine Veen     Henri Nouwen.org

3 comments:

DeadMule said...

Hi Sue, Did you see my post from Henri Nouwen yesterday. It said almost the same things you have said. See http://helenl.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/what-is-most-personal-is-most-universal-by-henri-nouwen-2/
Love, Helen

suzannpappan said...

We subscribe to the same newsletter don't we?
Henri's words always touch my heart. He was such an example if how Christ would have us live.
I encourage all of my readers to subscribe to the news letter of his word and inspirations at the link at the bottom of the post.

Doug & Laurel said...

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- Doug & Laurel