Summer in the Forest – Jean Vanier

Summer in the Forest is a documentary film that explores the life and work of Catholic author and philosopher Jean Vanier. It traces Vanier’s activism and faith from wartime to present day and reveals to us the universal need for love, community and companionship.

If you live in Lexington, Kentucky or near here please join us on June 20 at 6:30 pm at Cinemark Fayette Mall for a special one -night only screening in Lexington, KY of “Summer in the Forest.” Only 28 tickets still available!

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Sue Mosteller Talks about Henri Nouwen

Short excerpt from Salt+ Light Television’s “Witness Program” featuring Sue Mosteller circa 2009. Would love to know where to find the interview Henri Nouwen featured in this clip.

Living In The Deeper Unity


“Writing yesterday about the growing separatism and divisiveness in our world, I have continued to ponder it. Today I want to suggest a means for overcoming the temptation to be sectarian and schismatic–at least in our own hearts. I call it living in the deeper union…

In a world where the mindset of separation often wins out over one of unity we must train ourselves to resist the lure of divisiveness. It is an aspect of training ourselves in godliness (commended by Paul in 1 Timothy 4:7) because union is the basis for relationship within the Godhead and between/among all that God has made.

Simply put we must seek the deeper union that always exists if we recognize it, and seek for it to be real in and through us. Living in the deeper unity provides key elements that create and sustain life.

Living in the deeper unity establishes stability. Divisiveness generates instability. The tremors created by contention trouble the waters of relationships. We cannot be on our best game because we are off balance with ourselves and others. But when we find the deeper union, we find a level of peace and calm. We find a place to stand–a sure foundation to address our differences.

Living in the deeper unity creates security. Divisiveness produces competitive dualistic thinking. Tension escalates in right/wrong, good/bad, in/out hierarchies. But when we find the deeper union, we cease trying to “win” and be “better than” anyone else, instead offering the best we have and receiving the best that others have to give. In this security we live unafraid.

Living in the deeper unity generates discovery. Divisiveness freezes the past and turns it into a demand in the present. But when we find the deeper union, we recognize we are moving in a flowing stream. The past brings us into the present without requiring it to be a clone of yesterday. We are free to explore, make new discoveries, learn, and grow. And we are not said to be wrong when we do so.

Living in the deeper unity confirms witness. Divisiveness ignites mean-spiritedness, and nothing cancels out our alleged love of one another more completely than that. But when we find the deeper union, love prevails even in a diverse community. That kind of authenticity is attractive to others in ways that judgmentalism can never be.

Living in the deeper unity fosters change. Divisiveness shuns relationships, preferring to live by innuendos, stereotypes, and caricatures. But when we find the deeper union, we form relations that enable us to get to know people, revealing that those whom we formerly labeled “the others” are in many respects like us–and in some ways even better than us. We are changed through actual contact.

Living in the deeper unity is an effort required by all parties. Without a mutual commitment to it, our relationships remain hierarchical in essence, and our words about unity end up only being words. Deeper unity is not a hypothetical state, but the actual experience we have when we recognize our oneness in the human family. In deeper unity there is so much to be learned and so much to be gained.

Thomas Keating describes the gain as the sense of oneness with God, other people, and the cosmos. He writes, “Respect for others diminishes the drive to dominate and control. Cooperation replaces unbridled competition. Harmony replaces rigid value systems.” [1]

And long before now, David summed it up simply, “How good and pleasing it is when we live together as one!” (Psalm 133:1)”

Steve Harper

The Journey Together


“Solitude is one thing. Community is another. They are hand in glove and are essential to a good journey. The simple truth is, we need each other. I need you to hold me to the Light as I hold you to the Light. Traveling becomes not a burden, but a delight when we make the journey together.”

– Jeff Blake, Homestretch

To Discover and Believe

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“If you dare to believe that you are beloved before you are born, you may suddenly realize that your life is very, very special. You become conscious that you were sent here just for a short time, for twenty, forty, or eighty years, to discover and believe that you are a beloved child of God. The length of time doesn’t matter. You are sent into this world to believe in yourself as God’s chosen one and then to help your brothers and sisters know that they are also beloved sons and daughters of God who belong together. You’re sent into this world to be a people of reconciliation. You are sent to heal, to break down the walls between you and your neighbors, locally, nationally, and globally. Before all distinctions, the separations, and the walls built on foundations of fear, there was a unity in the mind and heart of God. Out of that unity, you are sent into this world for a little while to claim that you and every other human being belongs to the same God of Love who lives from eternity to eternity.”

– Henri Nouwen

The Center of our Hearts

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“Keeping busy at work, taking in the latest movies or concerts, keeping abreast of friendships, traveling, or dining in the best restaurants only takes the edge off the little cry that continually echoes at the center of our hearts. It is a painful cry that becomes louder when we are alone or when there is less activity. Because we don’t know what to do, we mostly choose to look busy, distract ourselves, and pretend that it is not there at all. But it does not go away, and it is a persistent cry for love and intimacy. Our little hearts are deeply lonely and we yearn for more than a life of entertainment and busyness.”

– Sue Mosteller, A Place To Hold My Shaky Heart