Moving from Moral to Mystical, Henri Nouwen
In response to our current national landscape I have become increasingly passionate about God's unwavering reaction to our sinful nature -"unconditional and unlimited love." The grace and forgiveness of God are truly profound and sweeping. In response to this love we should in-turn offer grace and forgiveness to everyone.
Excerpt from In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
"I have the impression that many of the debates within the church around issues such as the papacy, the ordination of women, the marriage of priests, homosexuality, birth control, abortion, and euthanasia take place on a primarily moral level. On that level, different parties battle about right and wrong. But that battle is often removed from the expereience of God's first love, which lies at the base of all human relationships.
Words like "right-wing," "reactionary," "conservative," "liberal," and "left-wing" are used to describe people's opinions, and many discussions then seem more like political battles for power than spiritual searches for the truth.
Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time. Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus, and they need to find there source for their words, advice, and guidance. Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen again and again to the voice of love and to find there the wisdom and courage to address whatever issue presents itself to them. Dealing with burning issues without being rooted in a deep personal relationship with God easily leads to divisiveness because, before we know it, our sense of self is caught up in our opinion about a given subject. But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront with out being offensive, gentle, and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.
For Christian leadership to be truly fruitful in the future, a movement from the moral to the mystical is required."