Day 29 – Can You Drink the Cup? – Henri Nouwen

Day 29

Can You Drink the Cup?

Henri Nouwen

At worst, drinking together is saying, “We trust each other enough that we don’t want to poison each other.” At best, it is saying, “I want to get close to you and celebrate life with you.” It breaks through the boundaries that separate us and invites us to recognize our shared humanity. Thus, drinking together can be a true spiritual event, affirming our unity as children of one God.

The world is full of places to drink: bars, pubs, coffee and tea rooms. Even when we go out to eat, the waiter’s first question is always “Can I offer you something to drink?” That is also one of the first questions we ask our guests when they enter our home.

It seems that most of our drinking takes place in a context in which we feel, at least for a moment, at home with ourselves and safe with others. Drinking a cup of coffee to interrupt work for a moment, stopping for tea in the afternoon, having a “quick drink” before dinner, taking a glass of wine before going to bed-all these are moments to say to ourselves or others: “It is good to be alive in the midst of all that is going on, and I want to be reminded of that.”

Drinking the cup of life makes our own everything we are living. It is saying, “This is my life,” but also “I want this to be my life.” Drinking the cup of life is fully appropriating and internalizing our own unique existence, with all its sorrows and joys.

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