Words for “home” are often used in the Old and New Testaments. The Psalms are filled with a yearning to dwell in the house of God, to take refuge under God’s wings, and to find protection in God’s holy temple; they praise God’s holy place, God’s wonderful tent, God’s firm refuge. We might even say that “to dwell in God’s house” summarizes all the aspirations expressed in these inspired prayers…
Jesus, in whom the fullness of God dwells, has become our home. By making his home in us he allows us to make our home in him. By choosing us as his preferred dwelling place, he invites us to chose him as our preferred dwelling place. This is the mystery of the incarnation.
Here we come to see what discipline in the spiritual life means. It means a gradual process of coming home to where we belong and and listening to the voice which desires our attention. It is the voice of the “first love.” St. John writes: “We are to love…because God loved us first” (1 John 4:19). It is this first love which offers us the intimate place where we can dwell in safety…Home is the place where that first love dwells and speaks gently to us…Prayer is the most concrete way to make our home in God. –Henri Nouwen, Lifesigns
Here, Anders Gullberg, a core member who has been living in Angel House for one year, reflects on this passage on home and prayer by Henri Nouwen. L’Arche celebrates that one of Anders’ gifts is his ability to create home.
What makes a home?
Decorating, cleaning, gardening, and the people living in it.
How do you take care of your housemates?
I talk to them. We watch movies together and go to the Avenue. We take care of each other when we talk to each other.
How do you pray?
Sometimes I pray by myself and at church we pray together, out loud. At Angel House we pray when we pass the candle and then we pray the Lord’s Prayer.
When do you feel at home with God?
When I garden or clean. I like taking care of the house so that it’s nice. That’s when I feel at home with God.