Henri Nouwen on Today’s World


I know a lot of people out there are worried about the state of the world. I’m currently reading a book that is a collection of letters by Catholic scholar and spiritual writer Henri Nouwen. One letter written in 1981 is in response to someone who wrote to him concerned whether humanity would survive to the end of the century. Here is his response:

Dear George,

I really don’t know if our civilization will survive the century. Considering the growing threat of a nuclear holocaust, there certainly is reason to wonder. But important for me is not if our civilization will survive or not but if we can continue to life with hope, and I really think we can because our Lord has given us His promise that He will stay with us at all times. He is the God of the living. He has overcome evil and death and His love is stronger than any form of death and destruction. That is why I feel that we should continually avoid the temptation of despair and deepen our awareness that God is present in the midst of all the chaos that surrounds us and that that presence allows us to live joyfully and peacefully in a world so filled with sorrow and conflict.

Please be sure of my prayers for you in these tempting times.


Henri Nouwen


Stay tuned for my review of this book coming soon.


I will not be silent


For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
and her victory like a burning torch.

Nations shall behold your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
you shall be called by a new name
pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,
a royal diadem held by your God.
No more shall people call you “Forsaken, “
or your land “Desolate, “
but you shall be called “My Delight, “
and your land “Espoused.”
For the LORD delights in you
and makes your land his spouse.
As a young man marries a virgin,
your Builder shall marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
so shall your God rejoice in you.

-Isaiah 62:1-5

This from this Sunday’s readings I think is very, very appropriate for this week with all of the marches and other activism taking place all over the United States fighting the injustice of abortion. We need the hope expressed in this passage because we all know that good ultimately triumphs over evil and love ultimately triumphs over hate. Prayers be with all of you this week.