The most important thing I must give, but the most difficult, is forgiveness.
Forgiveness. Yes, That’s it.
I must forgive, always, again and again.
Forgive. As soon as I stop forgiving, I build a wall.
And a wall is the beginning of a prison.
Above all in life I’ve got to do two things: understand and forget.
I know many people and I know the secrets of many people.
And I know only too well that no two people are the same.
Each person is an entire world in himself.
He lives, feels, thinks and responds from his own world.
And the deepest core of that world is still unknown to me.
Therefore it seems obvious that, in normal course of events,
disagreements, frictions and tensions will develop.
Only when a person understands that other people are different,
and only when he is ready to forgive, is it possible to live together.
Otherwise there is a state of mutual siege and
you live in a day-in, day-out, cold or hot war.
There are many exceptionally good opportunities for us
to make peace and to make up quarrels.
We so often get a chance to give a small present,
to send a postcard inviting someone around as a sign of reconciliation, of forgiveness.
Once the first step, the most difficult step is taken, the rest is easy.
God has created me
to do him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me
which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission –
I may never know it in this life,
but I shall be told of it in the next.
I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught,
I shall do good,
I shall do his work.
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth
in my own place
while not intending it –
if I do but keep
Therefore, I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am,
I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness,
my sickness may serve Him;
my perplexity may serve Him;
if I am in sorry,
my sorrow may serve Him.
He does nothing in vain.
He knows what He is about.
He may take away my friends.
He may throw me among strangers.
He may make me feel desolate,
make my spirits sink,
hide my future from me –
still He knows
what He is about.
Henri Nouwen is one of my favorite author of all time. All of his writings that I’ve read, hit me straight in the heart. On top of that, his writings are timeless. It might be written in the 70s, 80s, or 90s, but when you read it now, it is still applicable to our daily lives.
He was a very intelligent priest and yet vulnerable and very emotional at the same time. He could be teaching in Harvard University and next you found him working with mentally challenged people at the L’Arche Community of Daybreak in Toronto.
Below is an excerpt taken from his book “The Inner Voice of Love.”
Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply.
You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful. It is like a plow that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the pain of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decide not to love again, or you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds.
The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. They will become part of your self and thus gradually build a community within you.
Those you have deeply loved become part of you. The longer you live, there will always be more people to be loved by you and to become part of your inner community. The wider your inner community becomes, the more easily you will recognize your own brothers and sisters in the strangers around you. Those who are alive within you will recognize those who are alive around you. The wider the community of your heart, the wider the community around you. Thus the pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear.