If I knew for certain that I should die
next week, I would still be able to sit
at my desk all week and study with
perfect equanimity, for I know now
that life and death make a meaningful whole
~ Etty Hillesum

Being Safe Places for Others
by: Henri Nouwen

When we are free from the need to judge or condemn, we can become safe places for people to meet in vulnerability and take down the walls that seperate them. Being deeply rooted in the love of God, we cannot help but invite people to love one another. When people realize that we have no hidden agendas or unspoken intentions, that we are not trying to gain any profit for ourselves and that our only desire is for peace and reconciliation, they may find the inner freedom and courage to leave their guns at the door and enter into conversation with their enemies.

Many times this happens even without our planning. Our ministry of reconciliation most often takes place when we ourselves are least aware of it. Our simple, nonjudgmental presence does it.

The internationally renowned priest and author, respected professor and beloved pastor Henri Nouwen (pronounced Henry Now-win) wrote over 40 books on the spiritual life. Since his death in 1996, ever-increasing numbers of readers, writers, teachers and seekers have been guided by his literary legacy. Nouwen’s books have sold over 2 million copies and been published in over 22 languages.

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A COMPLIMENTARY ISSUE of Sacred Journey (Summer 2010) is available as electronic download. Our Winter 2012 issue features an interview with Sr. Helen Prejean and explores the death penalty from different perspectives.

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