Sunday, November 14, 2021

Demons Like to Be Analyzed; God Wants to Be Loved

Olentangy Indian Caverns, near Columbus, Ohio

In the 1980s I wrote Henri Nouwen a letter, asking him a question. To my delight, Henri wrote me back.

204 of Nouwen's personal letters have been published in Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life. Here we have a repository of depth and wisdom, a deep well dug over years of praying, meditation on Scripture, serving others, and engagement with the Jesus Tribe.

In one of them, written in 1976, Nouwen wrote to a friend who was in a spiritual abyss.

“A simple-minded, simple-eyed commitment to God is all that counts,” Nouwen wrote. “We will never overcome the demons by analyzing them, but only by forgetting them in an all-consuming love for God. God is simple, demons are complex. Demons like to be analyzed, because that keeps our attention directed to them. God wants to be loved.”