July 13, 2014
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council
The beginning and end of Christian leadership
“The beginning and end of Christian leadership is to give your life for others… Real martyrdom means a witness that starts with the willingness to cry with those that cry, laugh with those that laugh, and to make one’s own painful and joyful experiences available as sources of clarification and understanding.
Who can save a child from a burning house without taking the risk of being hurt by the flames? Who can listen to a story of loneliness and despair without taking the risk of experiencing similar pains in his own heart and even losing his precious peace of mind? In short: “Who can take away suffering without entering it”.
The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen
The Wounded Healer
Image Books Doubleday, 1979, p.72