The wound, which causes us to suffer now, will be revealed to us later as the place where God intimated new creation.
—Henri J. M. Nouwen
Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian. His interests were rooted primarily in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community.
Four things I know are true but have to remember to remember:
- santosha (the joy is there, I just have to scan for the good)
- impermanence (everything I love will someday disappear)
- karma (what I give is what I get)
- dukkah (suffering is wanting things to be different than they are)
-Abby Falik, Global Citizen Academy
“Hard, awful things happen in this broken world. Nothing we can do will change that fact. Bad things happen, and they will happen to good people we love, or to us.” [Forward Day by Day]
“Those who love us will miss us.” -Keanu Reeves
“Identification with suffering might just be non-dual thinking in its most active and proactive form and why nonviolence demands such a high level of transformation. Our resistance to suffering is an entire industry now, perhaps symbolized by the total power of the gun lobby and the permanent war economy in America, the fear of any profit sharing with the poor, or the need to be constantly entertained. Maybe that is why some have said that the foundational virtue underlying al others is courage (“cor-agere” = an action of the heart). It takes immense courage to walk in solidarity with the suffering of there’s, and even our own.” -Fr. Richard Rohr
As an inlet cannot close itself to the sea that shapes it, the heart can only wear itself open.
“One of the hardest blessings to accept about the heart is that in the image of life itself, it will not stop emerging through experience. No matter how we try to preserve or relieve what has already happened, the heart will not stop being shaped. It knows that the only way to truly remember or stay whole is to take the best and worst into its tissue.
Despite all our intentions not be hurt again, the heart keeps us going by moving us ever forward into health. Though we walk around thinking we can direct it, our heart is endlessly shaped like the land, often against our will.” -Mark Nepo
Former President Jimmy Carter was asked recently what word he would eliminate from his vocabulary, if he could. His response? ‘I.’
Monk Kelsang Dorku:
“I and MY (represent) our self-cherishing ego (and) will lead to suffering.”
From the classic ’80’s film The Big Chill in the scene between Michael and Sam:
Michael: I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.
Sam Weber: Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.
Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?
The Challenge: Can we go through a day without using the word, ‘I?’
“Life begins with love, is maintained with love, and ends with love. Right now, while we’re alive, is the time to practice and express love. So please take care of your love. Love is capable of reaching so many people.”
“Violence is what happens when we don’t know what else to do with our suffering.” But, Parker J. Palmer wonders, how do we turn the power of suffering toward new life? It depends on our willingness to exercise our hearts so that when suffering strikes, they are suppler and more able to break open to new life.