Henri Nouwen on Celebrating the Holidays and Each Day

Editors be aware: That is an excerpt from the posthumously printed Following Jesus: Discovering Our Approach Residence in An Age of Anxiousness, by the late Henri Nouwen.

Celebration is what we’re referred to as to. We’re referred to as to follow pleasure by celebrating.

What we’ve to study is have a good time life.

Celebrating life isn’t a celebration however an ongoing consciousness that each second is particular and asks to be lifted up and acknowledged as a blessing from on excessive. Once I was with Jean Vanier, who ministered to folks with mental disabilities, that’s what I noticed them doing on a regular basis. The church invitations us to have a good time. Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Lent, Pentecost we have a good time the holy yr. We have a good time birthdays and anniversaries, we have a good time Thanksgiving, we have a good time memorial days. We have a good time.

However that’s solely a part of celebrating. We now have to go additional. To have a good time means to carry up the second and say, That is Gods second. To have a good time is to carry up right this moment and say, That is the day the Lord has made!

And never simply on Thanksgiving but in addition on Monday morning! Allow us to be glad and joyful. Allow us to have a good time! If we’re capable of have a good time life, and never solely on particular events, we understand that we’ve many events to be glad. We understand that one thing is going on, that one thing is coming by, and we’ve to rejoice.

Once I was in Peru, the folks I used to be staying with have been very poor. They didnt have something. I slept on the roof as a result of they didnt have a room for me. They only put a mattress up there. After a number of months of dwelling there, I mentioned to them, I’m going to depart subsequent week. They couldnt have cared much less, as a result of since I used to be nonetheless there I wasnt leaving! It didnt register.

However lastly, on Saturday morning, I mentioned, I’m leaving in an hour. I had my suitcase and so they noticed that I used to be leaving. As a result of they cherished me and I cherished them, Sophia, the mom, gave little Johnny some cash and he ran out to the shop. It was midday, and my bus was leaving in 30 minutes, and I began to get nervous.

However little Johnny got here again, and he had a giant bottle of Coke and two cookies. He mentioned, Nicely have a celebration. He stuffed the familys one glass and took the glass to every particular person for a little bit sip. Then he broke the cookies into little items and shared them with everybody. Pablito, a boy of 13, mentioned, Lets have a little bit of music. There was this outdated, cranky file participant, I dont know the place it got here from, however he made it go. He mentioned, Lets dance!

It was twelve midday. I’ve to depart at 12:15 and have been having this occasion! Slightly Coca-Cola, a little bit little bit of cookie, and a little bit dancing. They have been laughing and saying goodbye. Then they took my suitcase and everybody walked me to the bus. There was a giant farewell, and I noticed that we had simply celebrated the Eucharist.

What a present these folks needed to convey me in contact with pleasure! I used to be in contact with their poverty, their points, their medical care. It was all very actual, and so they wanted lots of assist, however within the midst of it they remained joyful.

Celebration doesnt imply to have a good time solely the nice moments. Ecstatic pleasure embraces all of life and doesn’t shy from painful moments, departures and even loss of life. Loss of life is widely known not as a result of it’s fascinating however as a result of loss of life has no remaining energy over us. There’s by no means a loss of life that can’t bear fruit.

We are able to have a good time ache not as a result of ache is nice however as a result of we will pray with it and break bread collectively. Troublesome moments will be lifted up. We carry them up in gratitude.

Celebration is absolutely an expression of gratitude. Loss of life doesnt have the ultimate phrase. Even agony, ache, struggles, warfare, all of that, is someway not the ultimate energy. God is a God of the Residing. You shall have life and life abundantly.

The extra we have a good time, the extra we understand that we’re in communion. To have a good time is to create neighborhood. It’s the first signal of the Kingdom proclaimed amongst us. Celebration is the best way through which religion within the God of Life is lived out, whether or not there are smiles or tears. Celebration reveals the deep undercurrent of pleasure that flows beneath all of our ups and downs.

Jesus rewards us with pleasure. Not solely later, however now. Not solely within the glad moments but in addition in our sorrow. Pleasure is hidden in our struggling and revealed in our communal life.

Excerpted from Following Jesus: Discovering Our Approach Residence in An Age of Anxiousness, drawn from talks given by the Catholic priest and theologian whereas he was instructing at Harvard Divinity College and edited by Gabrielle Earnshaw. Printed by Convergent Books. Copyright 2019 by The Henri Nouwen Legacy Belief. Utilized by permission.

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