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Posted June 2, 2008

Book: A Letter of Consolation
Author: Henri J. Nouwen
Harper & Row. San Francisco, CA. 1982. Pp. 96

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

This personal and inspirational meditation is for “all those who suffer the pain that death can bring and who search for new life.” With intelligence and sensitivity, Henri Nouwen reflects on the meaning of death and life in the context of faith, especially as celebrated during Holy Week and Easter.

An Excerpt from the Book:

On Easter Sunday I read the Gospel story about Peter and John running to the tomb and finding it empty. There were more than a hundred visitors in the abbey church, some from far away and some from nearby, some young and some old, some formally and some casually dressed. Sitting with forty monks around the huge rock that serves as the altar, they gave me a real sense of the Church. After reading the Gospel, I preached. . . . “The Lord is risen; he is risen indeed.”

Everyone listened with great attention and I had a sense that the risen Christ was really among us, bringing us his peace. During the Eucharist, I prayed for you, for mother, and for all who are dear to us. I felt that the risen Christ brought us all together, bridging not only the distance between Holland and the United States but also that between life and death. Lent was long, sometimes very hard, and not without its dark moments and tempting demons. But now, in the light of the resurrection of Christ, Lent seems to have been short and easy. I guess this is true for all of life. In darkness we doubt that there will ever be light, but in the light we soon forget how much darkness there was.

Now there is light. In fact, the sun has even broken through and the large stretches of blue sky now visible behind the clusters of clouds remind me again that often what we see I not what is most enduring.

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