Trying to Avoid Temptations When Among the Famous & Successful
ON NOT BEING DISTRACTED BY POWER & WEALTH
Ed. Note: During the 1985-1986 academic year, Henri J.M. Nouwen was a priest-in-residence at the l’Arche community in Trosly-Breuil, France (a Catholic/ecumenical community serving disabled persons). This article is the ninth installment in a series of articles reflecting on that year. The series is adapted from his diary.
Saturday, April 26, 1986
Jesus said to His friends, “Whatever you ask for in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it” (Jn. 14:13-14).
Asking in Jesus’ Name — that’s the great challenge. I ask for so many things in my own name or in the name of my friends. I ask for what I want or what I think my friends want. My own little world then shapes my prayer, and God becomes my helper in doing my own things.
Asking in Jesus’ Name is something else. It means asking for God’s will to be done, for God’s glory to be established, for God’s love to be celebrated. The Name of Jesus is a place where we ask. It is a house, a tent, a dwelling place. The more I live there with all my heart and mind and soul, the more I will know what to ask for. The Name of Jesus will reveal to me God’s “needs,” God’s “desires,” God’s “expectations,” and there I will gradually come to know true prayer.
Wednesday, April 30, 1986
Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, to make it bear even more” (Jn. 15:1-2).
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