Final Integration

It is not enough that Jesus is my teacher, my guide, my source of inspiration. It is not even enough that he is my companion on the journey, my friend and my brother. Jesus must become the heart of my heart, the fire of my life, the lover of my soul, the bridegroom of my spirit. He must become my only thought, my only concern, my only desire. The thousands of people, events, ideas, and plans, that occupy my inner life must become all one in the one and only name: Jesus.

I know that I have to move from speaking about Jesus to letting him speak within me, from thinking about Jesus to letting him think within me, from acting for and with Jesus to letting him act through me. I know the only way for me to see the world is to see it through his eyes. Everything has to become very simple, very unified, very focused. It is no longer a question of being up-to-date or well-informed. At this moment in history – my own as well as that of the world – I have to go to the very center of being: the center where time touches eternity, where earth and heaven meet, where God’s Word become human flesh, where death and immortality embrace. There is really no longer a question of options. With an unmistakable clarity I have heard a voice saying, “Give me everything, and I will give you everything.”

~ Henri Nouwen, Jesus and Mary: Finding Our Sacred Center
Seeds of Hope, p. 5

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