Friday, October 01, 2010

Random Thought from Henri Nouwen: On Gratitude

Thumbing through Henri Nouwen's The Return of the Prodigal Son, which I read and marked up last spring, I come across the following passage, which deals with the elder's son attitude toward his returning brother:
"Along with trust there must be gratitude--the opposite of resentment.  Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift.  My resentment tells me that I don't receive what I deserve.  It always manifests itself in envy. . . . There is the option to look into the eyes of the One who came out to search for me and see therein that all I am and all I have is pure gift calling for gratitude."  The Return of the Prodigal (Doubleday), p. 85
In those eighty-odd words I find something I should chew on for days, if not weeks.  And this is so typical when reading Nouwen.  Words to take with me on the never-ending path of conversion.

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