Henri J. M. Nouwen
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About Henri J. M. Nouwen
Henri Nouwen was born in Holland in 1932 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1957. He obtained his doctorandus in psychology from Nijmegen University in The Netherlands and taught at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard. He experienced the monastic life with Trappist monks at the Abbey of the Genesee, lived among the poor in Latin America with the Maryknoll missioners, and was interested and active in numerous causes related to social justice. After a lifetime of seeking, Henri Nouwen finally found his home in Canada, as pastor of L'Arche Daybreak - where people with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers live together in community.
Henri Nouwen wrote over 40 books on spirituality and the spiritual life that have sold millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages. His vision of spirituality was broad and inclusive, and his compassion embraced all of humankind.
He died in 1996. His work and his spirit live on.
Henri Nouwen pronounced his name "Henry Now-en." For more information on his life and work, please visit www.henrinouwen.org .
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Titles By Henri J. M. Nouwen
With over a million copies sold, this classic work is essential reading for all who ask, “Where has my struggle led me?”
A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on an unforgettable spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell.
As Nouwen reflects on Rembrandt’s painting in light of his own life journey, he evokes a powerful drama of the classic parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son’s return, the father’s restoration of sonship, the elder son’s resentfulness, and the father’s compassion. 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 God loves, and to be loved as God’s beloved, will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and is here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times.
In this book, Henri Nouwen combines creative case studies of ministry with stories from diverse cultures and religious traditions in preparing a new model for ministry. Weaving keen cultural analysis with his psychological and religious insights, Nouwen has come up with a balanced and creative theology of service that begins with the realization of fundamental woundedness in human nature. Emphasizing that which is in humanity common to both minister and believer, this woundedness can serve as a source of strength and healing when counseling others.
Nouwen proceeds to develop his approach to ministry with an analysis of sufferings—a suffering world, a suffering generation, a suffering person, and a suffering minister. It is his contention that ministers are called to recognize the sufferings of their time 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 role and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering—in the image of Christ. In other words, we heal from our own wounds.
Filled with examples from everyday experience, The Wounded Healer is a thoughtful and insightful guide that will be welcomed by anyone engaged in the service of others.
“Henri Nouwen’s timeless and loving words are quiet prayers that will forever live in my heart.”—Brené Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Braving the Wilderness
“We are the Beloved,” Henri Nouwen famously wrote. “We are intimately loved long before our parents, teachers, spouses, children, and friends loved or wounded us. That’s the truth of our lives. That’s the truth I want you to claim for yourself.”
You Are the Beloved empowers readers to claim their central identity as the Beloved of God and live out that truth in their daily lives. Featuring key insights from Nouwen’s previously published works, along with a selection of never-before-seen writings, this profound collection of daily readings will appeal to those who know and love Nouwen’s work as well as to new readers seeking deeper awareness of their identity as a child of God.
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 him, "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 so many of your spiritual insights?"
For the countless men and women who have to live through the pain of broken relationships, or who suffer from the loss of a loved one, this book about the inner voice of love offers new courage, new hope, even new life.
In this never-before-published work of inspiration, the bestselling author of The Return of the Prodigal Son offers a compelling case for why Christianity is still relevant, beautiful, intelligent, and necessary in the modern world.
At one of the lowest points in Henri Nouwen’s life, he gave a series of lectures on the importance of following Jesus in an age of anxiety. Drawn from those talks, this new work reveals what sustained Nouwen to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus and led him to become an icon of compassion and vulnerability. Here he writes eloquently about calling and purpose, fear and hope. And he explains why—with so many choices available to the twenty-first-century seeker—the greatest reward for those looking for spiritual direction is rediscovering Jesus’s teaching on love. Along the way, Nouwen offers warm, insightful, practical habits to help readers navigate the narrow, sometimes arduous, but ultimately fulfilling road of conviction and faith.
Praise for Following Jesus
“Few writers have influenced me more than Henri Nouwen. These newly published lectures offer fresh and timely insights amid the familiar cadences of Nouwen’s prose, written from a place of deep anxiety but even deeper hope.”—John Inazu, professor of political science, Washington University in St. Louis, author of Confident Pluralism
“In Following Jesus, beloved pastor and spiritual mentor Henri Nouwen guides the reader on the journey he has traveled as a follower of Jesus. Without minimizing the anxieties, fears, and brokenness that touch down in every reader’s story, Nouwen gently leads the way into a life that centers on Jesus and engulfs the follower with God’s love, a sense of belonging, and a purpose that endures. Truly a wise and welcome word for anyone in this age of anxiety.”—Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women and Finding God in the Margins
Henri Nouwen—beloved author, priest, and internationally recognized spiritual master, counselor, and guide—offers gentle wisdom for universal questions of the spiritual life:
Who am I?
Where have I been and where am I going?
Who is God for me?
Where do I belong?
How can I be of service?
As a priest, pastor, and professor of spirituality at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard, Nouwen offered spiritual direction to many students, but his famous course on spiritual direction was never recorded during his lifetime. Now, in Spiritual Direction, the first of a series, one of Nouwen's students (Michael Christensen) and one of his editors (Rebecca Laird) have developed his courses and practice of spiritual direction into a book of profound wisdom for living a deep spiritual life.
The modern classic that interweaves the solitude, silence, and prayer of the fourth- and fifth-century Egyptian Desert Fathers and Mothers with our contemporary search for an authentic spirituality
Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life features the wisdom that spiritual leader and counselor Henri J. M. Nouwen brought to the essential question asked by every Christian and seeker: What should I do with my life?
Nouwen emphasizes listening to the Word of God—in our hearts, in the Bible, in the community of faith, and in the voice of the poor as a way to discern God’s plan.
Although the late Henri J. M. Nouwen counseled many people during his lifetime, his principles of discernment were never collected into a single volume. Now, in association with the Nouwen Legacy Trust, Michael Christensen—one of Nouwen’s longtime students—and Rebecca Laird have taken his coursework, journals, and unpublished writings to create this and other books in the series exploring God’s will for your life.
How do you find hope in hard times? Learn not only how to survive the difficult seasons, but to live a full life in the midst of them and beyond. Grounded in God's constancy and rooted in eternal hope, Nouwen guides you towards the kind of life that you can dance to—even through the darkest night.
Deeply comforting and profoundly realistic, Turn My Mourning into Dancing discusses five movements we experience during hard times:
- From Our Little Selves to a Larger World
- From Holding Tight to Letting Go
- From Fatalism to Hope
- From Manipulation to Love
- From a Fearful Death to a Joyous Life
Healing begins with taking our pain out of its toxic isolation and seeing our sufferings in communion with all humanity, and all creation. Nouwen teaches us that our lives participate in something much larger. Turn My Mourning into Dancing is a must read for:
- Those seeking growth and insight on the struggles of life
- Anyone going through the grief process and searching for real solutions
- Those who have experienced a loss, betrayal, or hard times
Everyone grieves differently. It is a process, not a science experiment. Mourning shouldn’t last forever. Do you want the kind of life that allows you to dance even in the middle of the darkest night? Get the answers and find hope within your hard times.
Nouwen views our spiritual "ascent" as evolving in three movements. The first, from loneliness to solitude, focuses on the spiritual life as it relates to the experience of our own selves. The second, from hostility to hospitality, deals with our spiritual life as a life for others. The final movement, from illusion to prayer, offers penetrating thoughts on the most mysterious relationship of all: our relationship to God. Throughout, Nouwen emphasizes that the more we understand (and not simply deny) our inner struggles, the more fully we will be able to embrace a prayerful and genuine life that is also open to others' needs.
Reaching Out is a rich book to be read, reread, pondered, and shared with others. "It does not offers answers or solutions," Nouwen cautions, "but is written in the conviction that the quest for an authentic Christian spirituality is worth the effort and the pain, since in the midst of this quest we can find signs offering hope, courage, and confidence."