We are loved

Publish date 26-01-2022

by Annamaria Gobbato

“You and I don't have to kill ourselves. We are the Beloved. We are intimately loved, long before our parents, teachers, spouses, children and friends have loved or offended us. This is the truth of our life ». Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), Dutch priest, theologian and writer (more than 40 successful books) has made and continues to deeply affect the path of research, not only spiritual, of many people. A bumpy personal journey inspires words of non-judgment and encouragement, the discovery of God's unconditional love for one and all, and finally the acceptance of oneself, without impossible claims of perfection are the common thread of his books.

The choice of living in a community of disabled people confirms and accompanies his action as pastor, also helping him in moments of physical and psychological weakness. The accreditation achieved by Protestant Christians is noteworthy, also due to his work as a lecturer and teacher in the Netherlands and in various prestigious institutes in the United States. He does not bask in success, the tireless search for a true relationship with God leads him to choose the silence and hospitality of a Trappist monastery: "I realized that I would only find him by retracing my steps and allowing difficult questions to penetrate me. , even if they had hurt me. ' A long trip to Latin America brings him to meet the excluded from society and makes him a spokesperson for US politicians and bishops. Nouwen wondered: "Why did God make me think and speak of the 'reality' of the Invisible with the gravity of one who has seen all of reality?" Perhaps precisely because Someone chooses as a witness who admits to being small.

Annamaria Gobbato
NP October 2021

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