Jesus’ “Little Way”

Henri Nouwen, on one more way Jesus shows us a surprising vision of humanness:

To choose the little people, the little joys, the little sorrows and to trust that it is there that God will come close–that is the hard way of the Jesus….Something in me always wants to turn the way of Jesus into a way that is honorable in the eyes of the world. I always want the little way to become the big way. But Jesus’ movement toward the places the world wants to move away from cannot be made into a success story.

It’s a perpetual temptation for me–to look at the “downs,” the troughs in the undulation of my life, as one of two things: something to power through, to get to the peak on the other side; or an opportunity to build, to somehow transform a trough into a peak. It’s one more thing that the Prayer of Righteous Ephrem gets at:

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity (integrity), humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages. Amen.

My lust for power, to be well-known, admired, betrays me. Today of all days, when Jesus was handed over to his enemies and his passion began in earnest, I long for the courage to walk in that “little” way.


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