To start the week, a prayer from beloved spiritual author Henri Nouwen. I often actually find my fists clenched and find it almost impossible to relax my hands, even at rest; I am loathe to speculate on what this implies about my spiritual life, but this beautiful invocation may help.
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
And what you want to give me is love—
unconditional, everlasting love.
Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) was a Dutch-born Catholic pastor, professor, and author of more than 40 books developing his "theology of the heart." His is a radical spirituality, not watered-down therapy. For example:
"Maybe someone will say to you, 'You have to forgive yourself.' But that isn’t possible. What is possible is to open your hands without fear, so that the One who loves you can blow your sins away." For more of his wonderful insights on unclenching our fists, go here. If you, like Henri and me, have struggled with depression, you might want to start wtih The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom, one of his most intensely personal works. Have a blessed week!