Week 4: March 26th – April 1st

Reading: Chapters 5 and 6 – Adam’s Passion and Adam’s Death

These two chapters are a very tender sharing of Adam’s passion and death.  Not an easy topic to explore.  Yet, as in his life, also through his death, Adam was a strong and clear guide for Henri.  There is so much here to reflect upon, at such a deep level.  Rather than offer specific questions this week, we offer a few quotes and invite you to reflect on and share from them.

1_ “Adam clearly challenged us to trust that compassion, not competition, is the way to fulfill our human vocation.  This challenge forced us to reexamine all the basic assumptions our individual and action-oriented lives” (p90).

2_”That, to me, is the final significance of Adam’s passion: a radical call to accept the truth of our lives and to choose to give our love when we are strong and to receive the love of others when we are weak, always with tranquility and generosity” (p 91).

3_”It was as if he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Henri.  Let my death help you to befriend yours.  When you are no longer afraid of your own death, then you can live fully, freely and joyfully” (p 102).

3_”Death is such a mystery, forcing us to ask ourselves,
‘Why do I live?
How do I live?
For whom do I live?’ and also
‘Am I prepared to die… now… later?'” (p101-102)

We so very much appreciate the open and real sharing from each of you.  Please feel free to share whatever came up for you in these two very special chapters.  We also want to continue to remember those who are journeying with us quietly.  Thank you for being with us!

Yours in gratitude,

Ray and Brynn

Week 3: March 19th – 25th

Reading: Chapter 4 Adam’s Way

Welcome to week three!  We’ve had such a beautiful discussion so far.  Thank you to each one for your vulnerability and courage to share.  It is safe to say, your contribution is touching someone else’s heart.

In this Chapter Henri gives us three examples of how Adam’s “way” of being and of living had a profound impact on other people.  Again, we see a deepening of the themes Henri has already raised, so feel free to re-visit themes we’ve already touched on in earlier weeks.

1) Henri shares three stories, one of Fr. Bruno, another of Cathy and finally of himself.  Each of these three were living a different life experience, and Adam was able to touch their life where they most needed it.  
a)  Which of the three stories do you most identify with and why?
b) How does Adam’s “way” speak to you in your current life experience?

2) Henri shares the story of his own journey, and reflects that “I was challenged to believe that even when I had nothing to show for myself, I was still God’s beloved son” (p79).
a) Have you had a similar experience of a low point in your life, with nothing to “show” for yourself?  How did you believe and claim the love of God for you in that time?  And/or…
b) How will you now?

3) “In our society plagued by fear, anxiety, loneliness, depression, and a sense of being lost, we keep looking for guides” (p81).  Many of us have the privilege and responsibility of being a guide for others, and many of us have sought good guides to help us along the journey.  Henri indicates the risk that a guide can becoming too controlling and the receiver too dependant.
a) How does Adam’s way give you fresh insight into how to be a good guide for others?
b) How did Adam’s powerlessness allow him to be a pure instrument of God’s healing power?  What does that mean for you?

We very much look forward to another wonderful week, and hearing how the readings spoke to each of you.

Ray and Brynn

Week 2: March 12th – 18th

Reading: Chapter 3

A heartfelt thank you to each of you who opened your heart last week, and shared your questions, reflections and journey with us.  Thank you also to those who are journeying with us silently, your presence is equally valued.

Henri describes how his relationship with Adam grew, and how it began to change him.  Henri shares with us the way that Adam, through his life and presence helped Henri receive some deep spiritual truths.  In this Chapter, Henri reflects on many of the themes that you all raised last week, so please feel free to continue with, and deepen, those themes.

1_Henri, like many of us, would often get wrapped up in what other people where thinking of him, and the need to prove himself worthy of love and acceptance.  Adam’s message to Henri was, in part, that “being is more important than doing” and that “God’s love is more important than the praise of people” (p56).
a) In what ways do you fall into the trap of “doing” in order to prove yourself worthy (of  love / acceptance / God’s love)?
b) How can we receive /embrace/ live the truth of God’s love for us?

2_Adam invited Henri to “just be with me and trust that this is where you have to be” (p48).
a) Are there people in your life who are calling you to “just be with” them?
b) What keeps you from taking the time to be with them? (See page 42 for Henri’s exploration of is own fear)
c) How does Henri’s experience with Adam help you understand God’s desire for us in relationship with Him?

3_Henri realizes that “the greatest gift I could offer [Adam] was my open hand and open heart to receive from him his precious gift…” (p59).
a) What does it mean to have an open hand and an open heart with another?
b) How might the decision and practice of receiving from another relate to the questions from 1 and 2 above?

4_After realizing how deeply Adam has touched his heart and life, Henri desires to share his relationship with Adam with others.
a) How did he do this with Murray?
b) How is this a metaphor for how we are called to share Jesus with others?

As always, feel free to share whatever came up for you in the reading.  We offer these questions simply to help facilitate the discussion, but we are not bound to them.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Ray and Brynn