(Note: I am not content to leave meditations on Henri Nouwen’s book unfinished. But rather than writing them on a set day of the week, I will simply add the “Listening” posts from time to time. You can trace the whole series of meditations by going to the blog sidebar, selecting the “Listenings” category, and going back to the post for April 9, 2012–where our exploration of this book began)
The movement from fear to love may be identified at the beginning, but it is not a one-time experience. Nouwen rightly notes that our fears are so long-standing and strong that they can come back to haunt us in the future (p. 81). The choice to live in the house of love is real, but it does not prevent the fears from making a house call! This why we must abide in Christ, not just make occasional contact with
Nouwen describes it this way: “Every time you feel afraid, you can open yourself to God’s presence, hear God’s voice again, and be brought back to perfect love that casts out fear and brings in greater freedom (p. 81).
This a way of reminding ourselves that spiritual formation is a never-ending experience.