Thursday, February 16, 2006

Nouwen on Icons

Icons...have imprinted themselves so deeply on my inner life that they appear every time I need comfort and consolation. There are many times when I cannot pray, when I am too tired to read the gospels, too restless to have spiritual thoughts, too depressed to find words for God, or too exhausted to do anything. But I can still look at these images so intimately connected with the experience of love.

[Henri Nouwen]


isaiah said...

These words resonate deeply with me. It's all about making the connection- keeping the connection open.

I believe music acts as an icon, certain instruments, certain ryhthms...what are your thoughts?

There are many times I turn to music when I know I'm beyond being able to meditate or be still-and the music centers me.

Jon said...

The Orthodox view icons not as mere paintings, but as "windows into heaven." Sounds like you're getting blessed and refreshed as you take a peek!

I love icons, too.

Allison said...

i love icons...they were one of my favorite things i learned about/saw in my art history class!
i agree that music acts as an icon as well...i feel very strongly that way.
thank you for posting this, trevor! :)

anonymous julie said...

I adore Nouwen, and am so glad to see somebody make mention of him.

A general observation: In the last sentence the key is the association (or at least I read it that way)... which reminds me of stuff from a book called "Unlimited Power." There's something to be said for first understanding associations. And then with the understanding, to work with, use, change them...

A personal comment: Nouwen's comment reminds me of one of the things I most cherish about Mass... its familiarity provides a framework for whatever else might need to happen. When I am too tired, too restless, too depressed, too exhausted...

Wonderful reminders, thank you for sharing the quotation.