Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quote from Nouwen

Today's Gospel reading for the First Sunday of Lent (Mark 1:9-15) is about Jesus being driven into the wilderness for forty days and nights to be tempted, on the heels of his Baptism in the Jordan River. At his Baptism, the Voice from heaven speaks: "You are my beloved, with you I am well pleased."

That Voice claims and seals and marks us as well, as God's own beloved. On this topic, there is no one better than the late Henri Nouwen, and in particular the little book Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (1998). This quote just about sums it all up for me:
The unfathomable mystery of God is that God is a Lover who wants to be loved. The one who created us is waiting for our response to the love that gave us our being. God not only says, "You are my beloved." God also asks: "Do you love me?" and offers countless chances to say "Yes." That is the spiritual life: the chance to say "Yes" to our inner truth. The spiritual life, thus understood, radically changes everything. Being born and growing up, leaving home and finding a career, being praised and being rejected, walking and resting, praying and playing, becoming ill and being healed--yes, living and dying--they all become expressions of that divine question: "Do you love me?" And at every point of the journey there is the choice to say "Yes" and the choice to say "No."   (pg. 106-107)

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