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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fr. Henri Nouwen on Lust Vs. Self-righteousness & a New Poll

Yesterday's blog raised the question of the sins of lust vs. those of self-righteousness. Henri Nouwen in his acclaimed book, The Return of the Prodigal Son raised the question as well after a lengthy contemplation of the younger son, the elder son and the painting by Rembrandt.

He discuses the following trend of thought in chapter six of his treatise... In Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger son is swept away by lust, greed and is wickedly wasteful. The elder son, although he is obedient and dutiful, he is swept away by the darkness of selfishness, pride and bitter arrogance. (cf. The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen, Image Books, Doubleday, New York, 1994, chapter six, pg.71 ff.) Nouwen asks, “which offense is more identifiable to sinners, lust or self-righteousness?”

As we come to grips with our own “lostness,” in return, we have a stronger capability to appreciate the brokenness of the homeless, the confused and the abandoned. Along with Fr. Nouwen, we initiate the following question-poll: “In your opinion, which sin is more readily identifiable and easily repented for, lust or self-righteousness?” Scroll down to the bottom of the main page and vote in all the HIA polls.

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