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@arahant‘s Quote of the Day took us in a rather earth[l]y direction. In honor of my natal anniversary (and to redress the imbalance) I offer the following reflection from Fr. Henri J. M. Nouwen [1932-1996]:
“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.” — Nouwen, Henri J. M.. Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (p. 13). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. [1997, 2014]
For me, days such as this are meant for rollicking, rejoicing, and reflection. I’m reminded of the overarching fulfillment of a promise and restoration of a covenant-love relationship begun long ago. A restoration that invites me and those so led to enter into relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Relationships have costs. This one involves my being willing to be a wounded healer (in Fr. Nouwen’s powerful phrase) in the service of the Crucified and Risen One: to recognize the strength in broken places. It helps me to recall that Christ’s risen, glorified Body bears the signs of His wounds, because they are real and true…and that the body of believers reflects both wounds and glory – “already” and “not yet” – day by day more and more. This starts tomorrow when year 62 commences.