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longtime students, and Rebecca Laird have taken the famous course in spiritual formation and supplemented it with his unpublished writings to reveal Nouwen’s sage advice on how to live out the five classic stages of spiritual development.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