Discipline in the spiritual life means “a gradual process of coming home to where we belong and listening there to the voice which desires our attention. It is the voice of the ‘first love.’ St. John writes: ‘We are in love… because God first loved us.” It is this first love which offers us the intimate place where we can dwell in safety. The first love says: ‘You are loved long before other people love you or you can love others. You are accepted long before you can accept others or receive their acceptance. You are safe long before you can offer or receive safety.’ Home is the place where that first love dwells and speaks gently to us. It requires discipline to come home and listen, especially when our fears are so noisy that they keep driving us outside of ourselves.” Nouwen, Lifesigns, 27.

1 Comment on discipline

  1. Jeremy Woods says:

    Fantastic words by Nouwen!