Tag Archives: Henri Nouwen

SOUL MATES

SOUL MATES

The soul has a strong desire and need for intimacy, and it loves vernacular life—that particular place, family, friends, neighborhood that are part of our daily life. That is why we look at ways of being in any kind of relationship soulfully: bonds that we feel with certain people.

A soul mate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected by divine grace. There is nothing more precious in life than our soul mate. Actually, this form of intimacy is not limited to one person or one form.

We are not talking about the interpersonal mechanics that comes to the foreground. Some nonchalantly say that we are simply programmed to act the way we do – almost like a machine. Not so! Today’s communication is technically sophisticated and speedy, but not necessarily more soulful.

We are dealing with questions like, “what is this thing when we fall madly in love?”, or “Why is this deep love never seemed to be satisfied?”, or “What is it that the soul wants upon separation?”

Some of us are frustrated and ask, “What is this continued failure to find love?” There are troubling aspects: doubts, distancing, desire for separation and freedom and endings. We suffer symptoms of loss of soul. The reason why we have so much trouble with relationships today may be our neglect of the study of the soul.

SOUL MATES

The soul loves attachments of all kinds – to places, ideas, times, sounds and music even in the ordinary details of everyday life. There are two pulls on our life: one upward toward success, progress, and intellectual clarity and another downward into individual, quiet life.

We have strong desires to have a family, live with another person, or join a community and yet after this has been satisfied, we are still drawn in exactly the opposite direction – our intimacy and our solitude. We must learn to honor both togetherness and individuality at the same time, even though we may sometimes feel a tug to one side only.

There are really two goals: one, to come to know yourself and two, to get to know the deep and subtle richness of the soul of the other. The final objective is to be both intimately connected with one another and at the same time, preserve one’s integrity and individuality.

This can be accomplished by giving the other sufficient emotional space in which to live and express one; then to risk revealing your own soul, complete with all its own absurdities. There are deep roots that may never have been revealed because of a lack o communication. The solution is not knowledge but love and a feeling that “you are accepted” by the other

We look at ourselves and we don’t like what we see. We try to change but the old imperfections remain steadfast. The basis of all relationships starts with the recognition that you have to be a friend to yourself – intimacy with oneself. The answer has everything to do with developing a good, intimate relationship to our own soul and the soul of others.

SOUL MATES

THE SOUL OF THE FAMILY

People living in the modern life often complain about a loss of traditional values and about feeling aimless, rootless and adrift. The culture of the family is a resource into which a person may dip throughout one’s life for direction, meaning and style.

One task is to forgive our parents for being imperfect. Life is much richer if we could let go of the excuse of parental failure and to establish a satisfying relationship with them. We benefit from the richness of a family and in particular of family stories, which identify who we are. The family may be one of the most powerful creative forces in our lives.

SOUL MATES

THE SOUL OF MARRIAGE

There is intermingling of souls that culminate in marriage – a demanding form of relationship. Marriage is a mystery, a sacrament and a sacred symbolic act. The interior of marriage is magical: it is fulfilling union that supplies a profound need for meaning, fulfillment and relatedness: a good home, fine children, happy days. Continue reading SOUL MATES

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NEED FOR FORGIVENESS

 RECEIVING FORGIVENESS

One of the greatest challenges of the spiritual life is to receive God’s forgiveness. There is something in us humans that keeps us clinging to our sins and preventing us from letting God erase our past and offer us completely new beginnings. Sometimes it even seem as though we want to prove to God that our darkness is too great to overcome.                                                                                     

There are two sides to forgiveness: giving and receiving. Although at first sight giving seems to be harder, it often appears that we are not able to offer forgiveness to others because we have not been able fully to receive it. Only as people who have accepted forgiveness can we find the inner freedom to give it. Why is receiving forgiveness so difficult? It is very hard to say, “Without your forgiveness I am still bound to what happened between us. Only you can set me free.” That requires not only a confession that we have hurt somebody but also the humility to acknowledge our dependency on others. Only when we can receive forgiveness can we give it.                                                                                        HENRI NOUWEN

“Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the LORD?
Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, yet seek pardon for his own sins?

If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside; remember death and decay, and cease from sin. ”                                                            Sirach 28:3-6

NEED FOR FORGIVENESS

One of the hardest things in life is to let go of old hurts. We often say, or at least think: “What you did to me and my family, my ancestors, or my friends I cannot forget or forgive. … One day you will have to pay for it.” Sometimes our memories are decades, even centuries old, and keep asking for revenge.

Yes, we can get attached to these negative identities and even take morbid pleasure in them. It might be good to have a look at these dark feelings and explore where they come from. Henri Nouwen Continue reading NEED FOR FORGIVENESS

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DELIVERANCE FROM LONELINESS

LONELINESS IS SERIOUS.

 It gnaws at our sense of reality, and can lead to depression and a sense of hopelessness. We may feel abandoned and sometimes rejected.

There are root causes such as death, separation or loss of a loved one. There could also be a change that comes upon you because of illness, unemployment or divorce.

LIVING IN LONELY BUBBLES

Loneliness is a dark and dreadful spirit hat haunts some of us today. Loneliness may mean that you are being attacked by Satan. God can intervene in your life and cleanse and heal your heart! You will not suffer from loneliness again since God will be sufficient for you. He will keep you in His peace.

We are a generation that doesn’t acknowledge others. We have lost what it means to have connection because all we’re ever connected to is the Internet or our devices.

Loneliness can have a greater impact on lifespan than obesity. Obesity increases a person’s chance of an early death by 30 %. Loneliness can increase it by a whopping 50%.

Some people are afraid to venture out and meet others, knowing that that effort will most likely result in rejection. When you do interact with people in public, they’re social for five minutes – that’s it!

Agonizing Loneliness

Many people suffer with loneliness. They may work in large urban centers or may have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but they are still lonely. One of the reasons this happens is because we in society forget one another. “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”                                                 Mother Theresa

You might say that what you really want is what really matters: meaningful friendships, a marriage, a family. And these things, as God designed them, are good, and good to want and work for. But still they’re not the ultimate thing.

Agonizing Loneliness Continue reading DELIVERANCE FROM LONELINESS

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CAN A SMART PERSON BELIEVE IN GOD?

 BELIEVE IN GOD?

Believe in God

The truth is every one of us “believes”.  Everyone of us has “faith”. What divides us is we believe in a different God.

According to a poll in 2000 by Princeton Survey Research Assoc., 94% of us believe in the existence of God. In fact, over the last 50 years the percentage of Americans have never dropped below 90%*.

The irony is that secular humanists who see themselves as smart, free-thinking realist and believers in God as dim-witted, superstitious sheep.

Most people today prefer the word spiritual, which connotes a truly personal relationship with God, one that’s unburdened by dogma and ceremony.

This author,  Michael Guillen , Can a Smart Person Believe in God?,  believes spirituality and religiousness transcends what the mind alone cannot understand fully.  The totally rational or dualistic mind invariably misses the point, and just calls things it does not understand wrong or stupid.

Look at the biologists who study the human eye retina but cannot give any credit to the spectacular design, except  for a mindless purposeless universe.  They cannot relate to God any more than fish can to a warm fire.

Then we come to the practical atheist: someone who believes in God but lives as if he or she doesn’t. They avoid discussing God or religion and avoid reading anything spiritual.

For those who believe that the universe was nothing more than a breathtaking accident consider the following:

  • Belief in God has nothing to do with intelligence.
  • Science has never been able to prove that God doesn’t exist.
  • Be polite! If someone cooks you a great meal, have the courtesy to thank that person. Why would you not do the same concerning our universe.

Continue reading CAN A SMART PERSON BELIEVE IN GOD?

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VISIONS OF HELL

 HELL  REVEALED

Vassula hears, interiorly

She hears a voice first, then, when she has to write down what she has heard, her writing changes. This describes her visit:

heaven true life in God

I entered the tunnel and was engulfed within a violently spinning vortex heading toward a yellowish dint of light. I stood up and looked around. I saw a house on a hill, smelled horrible odors, and heard strange sounds. People came from the house and neared me with joyous shouts of welcome. Where was I? Heaven? Hell? At first, I thought I was in a paradise but the sounds and smells were all wrong.

hell purgatory

Something was not right about these people either. For some reason they began appearing translucent. With this, I began to see them for what they really were – strange foul creatures emitting the illusions of people. Upon seeing this, two words erupted from my mouth like the staccato of a machine gun: Jesus Christ. I said these two words non-stop till I left this place. I was in a state of stark terror as the reality of where I was hit home.

One creature began to speak to me in a heavy unknown accent and told me to follow it:  I followed the rank creature and immediately emerged on the other side of the horizon. A wide, dirty, flat, barren expanse of land gently sloped downward, betraying an endless circular spiral of misery. On the left side of the coiled grade were rows and rows of cubes with more cubes columned high, forming a wall of ten-by-ten foot partitions mirroring the events displayed inside.

Each cube was stacked six high, marring each ascending and descending spiraling level’s wall like a dirty mirror. The wide expanse was a road. Strange entities were traveling on it. This wide dusty road ended at a circular void, highlighting the center of this hellish domain.

HELL REALITY

The cubes appeared encompassed by thin smoke-tinted, gelatin-like walls. Each cube appeared to be about ten feet by ten feet square. You could see into these but not out of them. Within every chamber resided an individual person, trapped, unable to escape as I had.

Looking through the torn wall of the cube I had just stepped out of, the house and tree within were hauntingly calling my name to return. Perplexed, I stepped back for another glance at this cubicle. I was surprised that it was so small. Inside it had seemed so large!

Turning, I saw the lizard-like entity a few feet from me, reaching its ugly, greenish-yellow arms as if to drag me away to a desperate fate. Boxer style, I blocked the attempt. This fiend stepped back, grinning ear to ear.

What I saw is best described in the Holy Bible in Ezekiel describes hell or purgatory as a circular burial pit where the dead are buried within the walls of a pit in accordance to his or her deeds. Each individual is placed in a chamber described symbolically as a bed chamber where the resident restlessly rest experiencing recompense for his or her deeds performed on earth.

 “Elam is there and all her hordes around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, who instilled their terror in the land of the living and bore their disgrace with those who went down to the pit.  They have made a bed for her among the slain with all her hordes. Her graves are around it.”                                                    Ezekiel 32: 24,25

Inside each cube, I spied individual people in various stages of boredom, anguishes, and hideous various torments. Ghoulish entities were inside these cubes giving the illusions of people, places, and things to each trapped soul enacting the scenes from each person’s life. I also traveled between these cubes to more cubes that lay behind as the journey continued.

The creature before me began speaking to me again with such foul language and curses that I cannot record what it really said for you. I began understanding its speech and could sort out the general theme it was speaking from its cursing. It then began showing me around this domain.

Out from the cubicle wall’s was a large dusty plain or road. Both ugly and beautiful beings roamed in lose packs on this plain. During the duration of my stay, many of these entities attempted to engage me in conversation. I was too terrified to respond but only spoke out the words, “Jesus Christ” non-stop.

I was taken on a hellish tour of this place by the ghastly creature in front of me. We descended to the lower levels of the spiral road as well as observed what was happening inside the cubes to each lost soul we passed. This hellish journey seemed to last forever. I wanted to wake up so bad, but could not.

Each trapped soul reaped in full measure whatever they had sown during their lives. Many entered this pit and into the cubes by means of spinning vortexes. I also noticed another entrance. All those people trapped resided totally alone and were not aware of each other. The only thing each was aware of, were the creatures residing with them and the scenes enacted within their own personal square nightmarish abode. It was truly a place of doom, despair, and unending nightmares.

I would say that each person trapped there felt a peculiar separation from God in the form of feeling banished forever from the loving nature of God and true life. Each knew fully that they deserved his or her fate because each chose to walk away from God and now resided in place without God as they desired during his or hers life lived on earth. God, in his great justice, fairness, and unfathomable love gave them what they desired: a place without God and where each was receiving the fruits of his or her own doings.

I felt greatest fear when the beastly guide tried to entrap me inside a unique cubicle. It is here, I was rescued while screaming out the words, Jesus Christ. I felt someone coming for me and arrive behind me and then lift me up.

I wept as the Redeemer carried me back to the cube I arrived in and then through the vortex back to the rock. He set my feet upon that Huge Rock where I was granted a glimpse of Heaven and was told that none can enter Heaven unless they come through the gate which was the robe clad Personage standing before me.

I was told it was time to leave and return. I floated back the way I had come. I was soon in my room above my body looking at the scene below. I glided back into my body and awoke with a start. I could not regain my breath until someone began hitting me on my back. I was rushed to a Hospital for further treatment and recovery. The duration of my near-death experience (NDE), was about four hours.

My experience has left me a deep appreciation for the work of Jesus Christ and His salvation. I became a Born Again Christian because of it. I have renewed understanding of God’s profound love, justice, righteousness, grace, and mercy. I learned that Jesus came to save that which is lost.

HELL IS A SECOND DEATH.

Continue reading VISIONS OF HELL

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