Introduction:
The younger son,
The elder son, and
The father (1)


During the year after I first saw the Prodigal Son, my spiritual journey was marked by three phases which helped me to find the structure of my story.
The first phase was my experience of being the younger son. The long years of university teaching and the intense involvement in South and Central American affairs had left me feeling quite lost. I had wandered far and wide, met people with all sorts of life-styles and convictions, and become part of many movements. But at the end of it, I felt homeless and very tired. When I saw the tender way in which the father touched the shoulders of his young son and held him close to his heart, I felt very deeply that I was that lost son and wanted to return, as he did, to be embraced as he was. For a long time I thought of myself as the prodigal son on his way home, anticipating the moment of being welcomed by my Father.
Then, quite unexpectedly, something in my perspective shifted. After my year in France and my visit to the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, the feelings of desperation that had made me identify so strongly with the younger son moved to the background of my consciousness. I had made up my mind to go to Daybreak in Toronto and, as a result, felt more self-confident than before.
The second phase in my spiritual journey was initiated one evening while talking about Rembrandt’s painting to Bart Gavigan, a friend from England who had come to know me quite intimately during the past year. While I explained to Bart how strongly I had been able to identify with the younger son, he looked at me quite intently and said, “I wonder if you are not more like the elder son.” With these words he opened a new space within me.


注釈:
During the year after I first saw the Prodigal Son, my spiritual journey was marked by three phases which helped me to find the structure of my story.
The first phase was my experience of being the younger son.

The long years of university teaching and the intense involvement in South and Central American affairs had left me feeling quite lost.
「intense」はここでは「一心不乱の」。「involvement」はここでは「かかわりあい」。「the intense involvement in South and Central American affairs」が具体的に何を指すのかは、著者はナウエンの他の著作を読んでいないので分かりません。

I had wandered far and wide, met people with all sorts of life-styles and convictions, and become part of many movements.
「conviction」はここでは「信念(belief)」。

But at the end of it, I felt homeless and very tired. When I saw the tender way in which the father touched the shoulders of his young son and held him close to his heart, I felt very deeply that I was that lost son and wanted to return, as he did, to be embraced as he was. For a long time I thought of myself as the prodigal son on his way home, anticipating the moment of being welcomed by my Father.

Then, quite unexpectedly, something in my perspective shifted.
「perspective」はここでは「観点(viewpoint)」。

After my year in France and my visit to the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, the feelings of desperation that had made me identify so strongly with the younger son moved to the background of my consciousness. I had made up my mind to go to Daybreak in Toronto and, as a result, felt more self-confident than before.

The second phase in my spiritual journey was initiated one evening while talking about
Rembrandt’s painting to Bart Gavigan, a friend from England who had come to know me quite intimately during the past year.
「initiate」は「・・・を始める(begin, start)」。「intimately」は「親密に」の意ですが性的に親密なことも意味しますので、Bart Gaviganは作者の同性愛の相手だった?

While I explained to Bart how strongly I had been able to identify with the younger son, he looked at me quite intently and said, “I wonder if you are not more like the elder son.” With these words he opened a new space within me.
「intently」は「熱心に、夢中で(attentively, closely, keenly)」。