Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Prayer, and Activism
How refreshing, to have Father Nouwen actually come right out and say that thinks all Christians ought to be activists. So different from the attitude I commonly see among the Christians I usually hang out with. These worthy people often try their best to be “good Christians.” However, these good folks—long-time faithful folks—just do not know how to challenge the status quo. The same-old, same-old has become familiar, comfortable, and well-worn.
Fr. Nouwen talks of a modern-day prophet, making us “suspect that someone has passed by who is worth getting to know.”  People are fascinated by these prophets. Strong, with an inner freedom, independent, able to stand apart from and above the fray. (At least, that is according to Father Nouwen.)
How I wish I could hang out with one of these prophets. Truthfully, I am afraid I couldn’t keep up with them. I imagine someone charismatic, but with such appealing characteristic that many would find him—or her—like a magnet. Father Nouwen mentions “They listen attentively and speak with a self-possessed authority but don’t easily get rushed or excited. In everything they say and do, it seems as though there is a lively vision before them which those who bear them can intimate, but not see.”  Wow! It is almost as if I have the vague impression, tentatively feeling as if blindfolded or in the dark, I wish I could actually have a relationship with such a prophet, such a luminary.
I wish…I wish…I wish. I can’t meet a person like this just by wishing. I suppose I need to try to be that activist, that prophetic individual, where I am and in what I do. On a daily basis of striving and trying, I know I could never be such a paragon as Fr. Nouwen describes. However, I can try my best to be a little ore Christ-like, be a little better Christ-follower.
Didn’t Jesus buck the status quo? Isn’t that what Henri Nouwen calls all of us to? He suggests needing “to work out a new world, the outlines of which they see and which appeal to them so much that even the fear of death no longer has a decisive power over them.” 
Dear Lord, really? Oh, Lord. That is such a difficult thing, such a challenging attitude to have. Well, if I do set out to follow Jesus, I may have to give up my life. Thus, the fear of death [ought not to have] a decisive power over me…
Dear Lord, help me to follow You, as best I can. Please, Lord.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 2005), 105.
 Ibid, 108.
 Ibid, 110.