The True Voice of Love

The True Voice of Love

February 16

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Fear is the great enemy of intimacy. Fear makes us run away from each other or cling to each other, but does not create true intimacy. When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples were overcome by fear and they all “deserted him and ran away” (Matthew 26:56). . . . Fear makes us move away from each other to a “safe” distance, or move toward each other to a “safe” closeness, but fear does not create the space where true intimacy can exist. . . .

To those who are tortured by inner or outer fear, and who desperately look for the house of love where they can find the intimacy their hearts desire, Jesus says: “You have a home . . . I am your home . . . claim me as your home . . . you will find it to be the intimate place where I have found my home . . . it is right where you are . . . in your innermost being . . . in your heart.” The more attentive we are to such words the more we realize that we do not have to go far to find what we are searching for. The tragedy is that we are so possessed by fear that we do not trust our innermost self as an intimate place but anxiously wander around hoping to find it where we are not. We try to find that intimate place in knowledge, competence, notoriety, success, friends, sensations, pleasure, dreams, or artificially induced states of consciousness. Thus we become strangers to ourselves, people who have an address but are never home and hence cannot be addressed by the true voice of love.

Henri Nouwen

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