Needing Time Alone This Christmas?

<%image(20051224-way of heart.jpg|65|97|wayofheart)%> In continuing my meditations on the works of Henri Nouwen and his thoughts on prayer and solitude, the following have been pointing me to the place where we can meet and share Jesus:

“Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken” (34).

“We have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others. To die to our neighbors means to stop judging them . . . Compassion can never coexist with judgment” (35).

“Solitude molds selfrighteous people into gentle, caring, fogiving persons who are so deeply convinced of their own great sinfulness and so fully waware of God’s even greater mercy that their life itself becomes ministry. In such a ministry there is hardly any difference left between doing and being” (37).

“About the desert fathers and mothers: “Anthony and his followers, who escaped the compulsions of the world, did so not out of disdain for people but in order to be able to save them” (39).

We would do well to heed the words of Nouwen. He points us to the place where we can meet Jesus and act with compassion to one another. I don’t see a lot of compassion in myself and in the church. Perhaps we need to be alone more often.