nouwen on church

These two daily meditations from the Henri Nouwen Society were in my email box when I got to work this morning. Thought I'd share:

Loving the Church
Loving the Church often seems close to impossible. Still, we must keep reminding ourselves that all people in the Church - whether powerful or powerless, conservative or progressive, tolerant or fanatic - belong to that long line of witnesses moving through this valley of tears, singing songs of praise and thanksgiving, listening to the voice of their Lord, and eating together from the bread that keeps multiplying as it is shared. When we remember that, we may be able to say, "I love the Church, and I am glad to belong to it."

Loving the Church is our sacred duty. Without a true love for the Church, we cannot live in it in joy and peace. And without a true love for the Church, we cannot call people to it.

Being in the Church, Not of It
Often we hear the remark that we have to live in the world without being of the world. But it may be more difficult to be in the Church without being of the Church. Being of the Church means being so preoccupied by and involved in the many ecclesial affairs and clerical "ins and outs" that we are no lnger focused on Jesus. The Church then blinds us from what we came to see and deafens us to what we came to hear. Still, it is in the Church that Christ dwells, invites us to his table, and speaks to us words of eternal love.

Being in the Church without being of it is a great spiritual challenge.

Food for thought.


A said...

These are powerful quotes--worth taking some time with. Nouwen is huge. Thanks for posting these today. Just what I needed.

Emily said...

I second that. The Church can be so much more frustrating than "the world" sometimes because we have such higher hopes for it.

"Omis" said...