Friday, September 15, 2006

Excerpt from: The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen

"Solitude is the furnace of transformation.
Without solitude we remain victims of our
society and continue to be entangled in
the illusions of the false self. Jesus himself
entered into this furnace.

There he was tempted with the three
compulsions of the world: to be relevant
("turn stones into loaves"), to be spectacular
("throw yourself down"), and to be powerful
("I will give you all these kingdoms"). There he
affirmed God as the only source of his identity.
("You must worship the Lord your God and
serve him alone"). Solitude is the place of the
great struggle and the great encounter - the
struggle against the compulsions of the
false self, and the encounter with the loving
God who offers himself as the substance of
the new self."

How I wish all people would develop these three disciplines: silence, solitude and prayer in our noisy, busy and fast-paced society. Gerald Baraza.

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