I’ve been reading* Henri Nouwen’s The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey through Anguish to Freedom, one to two meditations a day. Today’s meditation, on death to self, struck me with a doubled meaning—one relevant to the apocalypse-as-unveiling that the Church is going through at present.
You have an idea of what the new country looks like. Still, you are very much at home, though not truly at peace, in the old country. […] Now you have come to realize that you must leave it and enter the new country, where your Beloved dwells. You know that what helped and guided you in the old country no longer works, but what else do you have to go by. […]
Trust is so hard, since you have nothing to fall back on. Still, trust is what is essential. The new country is where you are called to go, and the only way to go there is naked and vulnerable.
It seems that you keep crossing and recrossing the border. For a while you experience a real joy in the new country. But then you feel afraid and start longing again for all you left behind, so you go back to the old country. To your dismay, you discover that the old country has lost its charm. Risk a few more steps into the new country, trusting that each time you enter it, you will feel more comfortable and be able to stay longer.
To long for the new country of the Kingdom of God is to long for truth. To say “Amen” to Christ’s words in Luke 8:17.
For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.
When we have choked ourselves with incuriosity and cover-ups, living in truth feels like living in a foreign land. But we must allow ourselves to be grafted on to live. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever. (1 John 2:16-17).
*Look, I don’t really care how silly this is: I’ve found it helpful to do this short spiritual reading right before I shower, so I can meditate on the reading without distractions. A better woman than I would find it easier to avoid reading something else right after, but I know my limits and want to make space for Nouwen’s words.