Nouwen Then: Feel Free to Receive the World
The world is evil only when you become its slave. The world has a lot to offer—as Egypt did for the children of Jacob—as long as you don't feel bound to obey it. The great struggle facing you is not to leave the world, to reject your ambitions and aspirations, or to despise money, prestige, or success, but to claim your spiritual truth and to live in the world as someone who doesn't belong to it.
I believe deeply that all the good things our world has to offer are yours to enjoy. But you can enjoy them truly only when you can acknowledge them as affirmations of the truth that you are the Beloved of God. That truth will set you free to receive the beauty of nature and culture in gratitude, as a sign of your Belovedness. That truth will allow you to receive the gifts you receive from your society and celebrate life. But that truth will also allow you to let go of what distracts you, confuses you, and puts in jeopardy the life of the Spirit within you.
Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved, from the chapter called "Living as the Beloved"