Tag Archives: modern-day prophets

Prayer, and Activism

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Love one another - Jesus - did I stutter

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.” [1] 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.” [2] 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.” [3]

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.



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[1] With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 2005), 105.

[2] Ibid, 108.

[3] Ibid, 110.