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Reaching for Clarity...

    Unfolding Full Potential

Volume I - Edition VI

Enjoy reading news items, articles, inspirational quotations and ideas of personal interest

Guest Article written for the Henri Nouwen Society:

On the Journey Toward Faithfulness

written by JAN DAVIS

Each December I receive in the mail a box of redbirds from Tom. There might be figurines, placemats, bookends, coffee mugs - all with emblems of redbirds. Tom collects redbirds all year long. Whenever he sees one, it is a reminder to him of a moment of grace in 1994 when he was touched by something I said. He attends to his inner voice of gratitude for my story of a redbird by returning faithfully to that memory and returning to me a gift of redbirds.

Remaining faithful to a memory may be very difficult. Because memories are so abstract, we often are seduced by a sense of false responsibility into thinking that by returning to them we are being faithful. Our walkabout life challenges us to be faithful to spouses, employers, political parties, and various commitments. I recently heard a prayer for "the grace to remain faithful so long as it is not harmful." How many people knowingly remain in abusive situations under the false guise of being faithful!

Being faithful doesn't have to be difficult or heroic. Rather, in silence and solitude we might simply remember that moment when we were first touched by God. Our deep yearning faithfully draws us back to that place where we were touched. But it is a tender place. In Henri Nouwen's secret journal, he invites us to awaken our dormant desire and open to the God who loves us with the first love, that which precedes all human love. Remember.

JAN DAVIS, D.Min, is an active contemplative who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She leads parish missions and spiritual retreats. She is a Benedictine Oblate and spiritual director. Jan is married, the mother of two sons, and grandmother of two grandsons.

"On the Journey Towards Faithfulness" first appeared as a Weekly Reflection eLetter from www.HenriNouwen.org on April 4, 2007



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