Daily Riches: Broken Before God … and Beloved (Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, and John Egan) *

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can, indeed, present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. … Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the ‘Beloved.’ Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.” Henri Nouwen

“Living in awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us.”  Brennan Manning

“I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me ‘You are my son, my beloved one.’”  John Egan

“Who then will condemn us? No one—
for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us,
and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand,
pleading for us.”
Romans 8:34

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you aware of how dangerous it could be for you to be really successful or popular? Can you list some of the possible pitfalls?
  • What about us makes power, success and popularity so intoxicating? (“the greatest trap”)
  • Do you feel loved by God?  Is that sense of His love at “the core of your existence?”
  • What can you change in your life to better hear “the sacred voice that calls you ‘the Beloved’?”
Abba, may the truth of your love for me be the foundation of everything I think, say and do. Jesus, thank you for pleading for me. Drown me in your love.

__________

For More: Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

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“There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.” (Marie Antoinette) , and thus “Men more often require to be reminded than informed.” (Samuel Johnson) The purpose of Daily Riches is to return again and again to a list of critical concepts at the core of the spiritual life. “Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you [may] already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.” (2 Peter 1:12)  I appreciate your interest! When you find this helpful, please share! – Bill

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