Daily Riches: The Wine We Are Becoming (Henri Nouwen, Avery Dulles, Hellen Keller and St. John of the Cross

“We never know the wine we are becoming while we are being crushed like grapes.” Henri Nouwen

“The good life does not have to be an easy one, as our blessed Lord and the saints have taught us. …Suffering and diminishment are not the greatest of evils, but are normal ingredients in life, especially in old age. They are to be accepted as elements of a full human existence. Well into my 90th year I have been able to work productively. As I become increasingly paralyzed and unable to speak, I can identify with the many paralytics and mute persons in the Gospels, grateful for the loving and skillful care I receive and for the hope of everlasting life in Christ. If the Lord now calls me to a period of weakness, I know well that his power can be made perfect in infirmity. ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord!’”  Avery Dulles

“Contradictions, sickness, scruples, spiritual aridity, and all the inner and outward torments are the chisel with which God carves his statues for paradise.”  Alphonsus Liguori

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

“And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven and the name of that river was suffering – and I saw the boat which carries souls across the river and the name of the boat was love.”  Saint John of the Cross

“it was fitting for Him
for whom are all things,
and through whom are all things,
in bringing many sons to glory,
to perfect the author of their salvation
through sufferings.”
Hebrews 2:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Think of people you know and all the reasons that people suffer. Do you think you can somehow escape suffering?
  • Jesus suffered in order to be perfected. Some things can only be accomplished by suffering. Can you embrace suffering in your life as not only inescapable, but necessary, even good?
  • “The good life does not have to be an easy one”, in fact, it can’t be. How are you making your life a good life “while you are being crushed like grapes?”

Abba, thank you for the boat that carries me across the river of suffering.

For More: St. John of the Cross: Selected Writings


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

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