Daily Meditation: December 13, 2013

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Anticipating the Vision

The marvelous vision of the peaceable Kingdom, in which all violence has been overcome and all men, women, and children live in loving unity with nature, calls for its realisation in our day-to-day lives. Instead of being an escapist dream, it challenges us to anticipate what it promises. Every time we forgive our neighbor, every time we make a child smile, every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens, and work for peace and justice among peoples and nations we are making the vision come true.

We must remind one another constantly of the vision. Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are. Instead of making us escape real life, this beautiful vision gets us involved.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Text excerpts taken from Bread for the Journey, by Henri J.M. Nouwen , © 1997 HarperSanFrancisco. All Scripture from The Jerusalem Bible ©1966, 1967, and 1968 Darton, Longman & Todd and Doubleday & Co. Inc. Photo by V. Dobson.

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3 Responses to Daily Meditation: December 13, 2013

  1. Jay Edward Garrett says:

    As a “protestant” who was reared in the shadow of the Catholic Church, I discovered the writings of Henri Nouwen while attending seminary in Portland, Oregon. While it seems strange to describe his writings as both profound and simplistic, suffice it to say I was redirected spiritually after reading Nouwen’s books – I own most of his writings and refer to them with some frequency. “Anticipating the Vision” provides me with hope for the future while living in an era of lost values and hopeless violence. We are a generation of trust-breakers and greedy materialists, yet we still possess the promise of what God intended us to be. There were times when I clearly focused on the sins of others – they were easy to identify and were in abundance. With Henri Nouwen’s vision as a guide, it was not long before I saw sin as a collective in which I was a participant and not simply an observer. The Return of the Prodigal Son was, in my mind, a reminder that sin and freedom from it are common to all people. We are a collective, an assortment of God’s creation.

  2. Bobbie Gerold says:

    I have made copies of “The Peaceable Kingdom” to be included in my Christmas card mailings, ending with a seal of The three wise men following the star, and the words “We must keep this vision alive” as hopeful inspiration for the coming year.

    RPI Henri, you continue to lead and inspire us !

  3. Ron Zamora says:

    My friends & I vigil on the day of an execution in the state of Florida. Sometimes it seems hopeless … but we keep doing it !

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