Friday, March 06, 2009


'No, the answer is not to say to oneself,'I am the beloved.' The answer is to claim our belovedness.

There are anything between six and twenty-six ways of saying,'I claim my belovedness.'For instance,there are all sorts of inner disciplines.

Some questions leading to an inner discipline are:'Do I keep choosing joy over sadness?''Do I keep choosing to speak a word of forgiveness instead of a word of revenge?'That is a very inner discipline.'How do I spend my time?'because there is a choice.'Do I read novels that don't get me anywhere,or watch TV that just makes me distracted?'Or,'Do I choose to read certain books or watch certain programsthat really help me?'That's also a way of claiming my belovedness.'

Am I going to be a garbage can of the world,into which I allow any television program and bookto be thrown?''Do I have a big garbage can in my head?'Do I choose to say,'I am the beloved.I am not going to listen to that stuff,not going to watch it?'

Then there's the discipline of relationship.'Who do I choose to be my friends?'Life offers constant choices,choices for the tools of my belovedness. Can I do it all by myself?One of the disciplines is that which comes from community.Can I hold onto my belovednesswhen the whole world is trying to tell meI am not belovedand therefore have to pay moneyso that I can feel beloved?'I need other people who say,'You don't have to do these things,you are loved.

'You need friends who physically touch you.There is a lot of need of physical embrace -kissing, hugging, holding, very normal physical contact -enormous need for that among the the elderly,among men, among women, among children.There's an enormous need for affirmation,for people to say,'What you said was really good and it really helped me.'There is an enormous need for phonecalls that say,'I have been thinking of youand been praying for you.'There is an enormous need for having people around.The Christian communityis a community of people who remind each other who they truly are -the beloved of God.

'Taken from 'BELOVED' by Henri Nouwen

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