By Henri J. M. Nouwen
Discovering religion in a Time of Sorrow cherished writer Henri Nouwen displays at the non secular value of dying and existence during this relocating meditation devoted to "all those that endure the soreness that loss of life can carry and who look for new life."
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Extra resources for A Letter of Consolation
Why did you leave me behind in this way? ” Sometimes people even feel angry toward those who die, and express this by a paralyzing grief, by a regression to a state of total dependence, by all sorts of ill- 56 nesses and complaints, and even by dying themselves. If, however, mother’s life was indeed a life lived for us, we must be willing to accept her death as a death for us, a death that is not meant to paralyze us, make us totally dependent, or provide an excuse for all sorts of complaints, but a death that should make us stronger, freer, and more mature.
He makes very clear what power a man can have who has befriended his own death. I know how much this book has moved you, and I was very happy with the copy I just received. Wouldn’t you say that Floris Bakels was able to survive the horrors of Dachau and other camps and write about it thirty-two years later precisely because he had befriended death? ” Fear of death often drives us into death, but by befriending death, we can face our mortality and choose life freely. But how do we befriend death?
They are free to move constantly away from the familiar, safe places and can keep moving forward to new, unexplored areas of life. I am not suggesting to you that you are called to do 52 something unusual or spectacular in your old age—although there is no telling to what you might be called! But I am thinking primarily of a spiritual process by which we can live our lives more freely than before, more open to God’s guidance and more willing to respond when he speaks to our innermost selves. Mother’s death encourages us to give up the illusions of immortality we might still have and to experience in a new way our total dependence on God’s love, a dependence that does not take away our free selfhood but purifies and ennobles it.