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Henri Nouwen Society
 
DAILY MEDITATION 
 
An Honest Being-With
March 15
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Photo courtesy of V. Dobson
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Being with a friend in great pain is not easy. It makes us uncomfortable. We do not know what to do or what to say, and we worry about how to respond to what we hear. Our temptation is to say things that come more out of our own fear than out of our care for the person in pain. Sometimes we say things like "Well, you're doing a lot better than yesterday," or "You will soon be your old self again," or "I'm sure you will get over this." But often we know that what we're saying is not true, and our friends know it too.

We do not have to play games with each other. We can simply say: "I am your friend, I am happy to be with you." We can say that in words or with touch or with loving silence. Sometimes it is good to say: "You don't have to talk. Just close your eyes. I am here with you, thinking of you, praying for you, loving you."
Henri Nouwen
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I love this thought...

Henri Nouwen Society
 
DAILY MEDITATION 
 
Where Mourning and Dancing Touch Each Other
March 28
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"[There is] a time for mourning, a time for dancing" (Ecclesiastes 3:4). But mourning and dancing are never fully separated. Their "times" do not necessarily follow each other. In fact, their "times" may become one "time." Mourning may turn into dancing and dancing into mourning without showing a clear point where one ends and the other starts.

Often our grief allows us to choreograph our dance while our dance creates the space for our grief. We lose a beloved friend, and in the midst of our tears we discover an unknown joy. We celebrate a success, and in the midst of the party we feel deep sadness. Mourning and dancing, grief and laughter, sadness and gladness - they belong together as the sad-faced clown and the happy-faced clown, who make us both cry and laugh. Let's trust that the beauty of our lives becomes visible where mourning and dancing touch each other.
Henri Nouwen
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Henri Nouwen Society
 
DAILY MEDITATION 
 
The Importance of Receiving
April 3
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Photo courtesy of GLady
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Please note: We sent a different Daily Meditation to you this morning in error. This is the meditation we wanted to share with you today. We hope you enjoy it.
 
Receiving is often harder than giving. Giving is very important: giving insight, giving hope, giving courage, giving advice, giving support, giving money, and most of all, giving ourselves. Without giving there is no brotherhood and sisterhood.

But receiving is just as important, because by receiving we reveal to the givers that they have gifts to offer. When we say, "Thank you, you gave me hope: thank you, you gave me a reason to live; thank you, you allowed me to realize my dream," we make givers aware of their unique and precious gifts. Sometimes it is only in the eyes of the receivers that givers discover their gifts.
Henri Nouwen
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A thought for the day...

 

DAILY MEDITATION 
 
Small Steps of Love
June 15
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How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it? We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity. A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit ... all these are little steps toward love.
 
Each step is like a candle burning in the night. It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through the darkness. When we look back after many small steps of love, we will discover that we have made a long and beautiful journey.
Henri Nouwen
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I love Mary Oliver... 

Mindful

 Every day

I see or hear

something

that more or less

 kills me

with delight,

that leaves me

like a needle

 in the haystack

of light.

It was what I was born for -

to look, to listen,

 to lose myself

inside this soft world -

to instruct myself

over and over

 in joy,

and acclamation.

Nor am I talking

about the exceptional,

 the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant -

but of the ordinary,

the common, the very drab,

 the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholar,

I say to myself,

how can you help

 but grow wise

with such teachings

as these -

the untrimmable light

 of the world,

the ocean's shine,

the prayers that are made

out of grass?

 ~ Mary Oliver ~

                                                                                        (Why I Wake Early)

 

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