Influences & Suggested Reading, The Inner JourneyThis is Henri Nouwen's 'secret journal'. It was wrtten during the most difficult period of his life, when, following the breakdown of a close relationship, he suddenly lost his self-esteem, his energy to live and work, his sense of being loved, even his hope in God. Although he experienced excruciating anguish and despair, he was stilla ble to keep a journal in which he wrote eah day a spiritual imperative to himself, which emerged from his conversations with friends. For more than eight years, Henri Nouwen felt that what he wrote was too raw and private to share with others. Instead he published The Return of the Prodigal Son in which he expressed some of the insights gained during his mental and spiritual crisis. But then friends asked hi,, 'Why keep your anguish hidden from the many people who have been nurtured by your writing? Wouldn't it be of consolation for many to know about the fierce inner battle that lies underneath many of your spiritual insights? For the countless men and women who have to live through the pain of broken relationship, or who suffer from the loss of a loved one, this book offers new courage, new hope, even new life.£9.99£9.99
Influences & Suggested Reading, The Inner JourneyWhat does it mean to be a healer in the modern world? In this hope-filled and profoundly simple book, Henri Nouwen offers a radically fresh interpretation of modern ministry. Here he inspires devoted men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways of ministry alienating and ineffective. According to Nouwen, ministers are called to identify the suffering in their own hearts and make that recognition the starting point of their service. For Nouwen, ministers must be willing to go beyond their professional, somewhat aloof role and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering as those they serve. In other words, we heal from our wounds. Generally recognized as one of Nouwen’s finest works, this book is a modern classic.£10.95£10.95
Influences & Suggested Reading, Spiritual GrowthThe Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on a long spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within which God has chosen to dwell. In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt’s depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son’s return, the father’s restoration of sonship, the elder son’s vengefulness, and the father’s compassion. In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes the powerful drama of the parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians through time, and here represented with a vigour and power fresh for our times.£10.99Rated 5.00 out of 5£10.99
Influences & Suggested Reading, Spiritual Growth
Spiritual formation, I have come to believe, is not about steps or stages on the way to perfection. It’s about the movements from the mind to the heart through prayer in its many forms that reunite us with God, each other, and our truest selves.
Henri Nouwen, from the Introduction
Henri Nouwen, beloved author, priest and spiritual guide, counseled many people during his lifetime, but his principles of spiritual formation were never written down. Now, Michael Christensen, one of Nouwen’s longtime students, and Rebecca Laird have taken the famous course in spiritual formation and supplemented it with his unpublished writings to reveal Nouwen’s sage advice on how to live out the five classic stages of spiritual development.
I always knew I was in the presence of a spiritual master when I was with Henri Nouwen. Here are some simple, wise words that will allow the master to continue to teach.
Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author of The Naked Now
One of the book’s many strengths is its integration of an area especially important to Nouwen, the contemplation of icons and other works of art – visio divina – in order ‘to behold the beauty of the Lord’.
Jim Forest, author of Praying with Icons and The Road to Emmaus£12.99