henri nouwen: dressed in gentleness

Once in a while, we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done and to get them done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu.Gentle is the one who does “not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick” (Matthew 12:20). Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let’s dress ourselves with gentleness. In our tough and often unbending world, our gentleness can be a vivid reminder of the presence of God among us.

daily reflection: a path to faith

True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33

My last drunk had landed me in the hospital, totally broken. It was then that I was able to see my past float in front of me. I realized that, through drinking, I had lived every nightmare I had ever had. My own self-will and obsession to drink had driven me into a dark pit of hallucinations, blackouts, and despair. Finally beaten, I asked for God’s help. His presence told me to believe. My obsession with alcohol was taken away and my paranoia has since been lifted. I am no longer afraid. I know my life is healthy and sane.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.