Monday, April 16, 2007

Reading for growth

Henri Nouwen hit the nail on the head when he wrote this:

Reading Spiritually About Spiritual Things

Reading often means gathering information, acquiring new insight and knowledge, and mastering a
new field. It can lead us to degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Spiritual reading, however, is different.
It means not simply reading about spiritual things but also reading about spiritual things in a spiritual
way. That requires a willingness not just to read but to be read, not just to master but to be mastered by
words. As long as we read the Bible or a spiritual book simply to acquire knowledge, our reading does
not help us in our spiritual lives. We can become very knowledgeable about spiritual matters without
becoming truly spiritual people.
As we read spiritually about spiritual things, we open our hearts to God's voice. Sometimes we must be
willing to put down the book we are reading and just listen to what God is saying to us through its

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