The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
In this hope-filled book, Nouwen offers a fresh interpretation of modern ministry. Here he offers inspiration to men and women who want to be of service in their Church or community but who have found the traditional ways of ministry alienating and ineffective. According to Nouwen, "the minister is called to recognize the sufferings of his time in his own heart and make that recognition the starting point of his service."
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|Listening Length||3 hours and 1 minute|
|Author||Henri J. M. Nouwen|
|Narrator||Dan Anderson O.F.M.|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 17, 2010|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #17,621 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#23 in Catholicism (Audible Books & Originals)
#45 in Grief & Loss (Audible Books & Originals)
#48 in Christian Church & Church Leadership
Top reviews from the United States
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I had to read this book for a mission trip that I'm going on. I've gotten very few bad recommdations for Christian books, so I was surprised with how much I disliked this one.
The first glaring problem is the era. I felt a lot better when I found out that this book was written in the 70s and was aimed at the youth of that time, because without that context, I was very confused about how he was describing the youth of the "modern era." He kept talking about how the youth were no longer concerned about the future because there might be no future. Apparently this is written in the context of the "nuclear era" where youth were concerned that there would be no future. Not really as applicable now.
The book in general is confusing, for several reasons. First, the writing style was too poetic and hard to follow for my taste. Second, the target audience of the book was completely unclear. Who is this for? He mentions "ministers" a lot, but does that just mean clergy? Lays? Who are we addressing to solve this problem of woundedness? This leads to the third point, that the goal of the book was confusing. With no clear target audience, it's also unclear how we're supposed to solve any of the problems brought up in this book. Solutions that are discussed are very vague and hard to apply.
Finally, the book is just tedious to get through. The language is part of the problem. It's also incredible how a book that's so short feels so long-winded. Chapter 3 is especially impressive, taking a 2 minute conversation and expounding upon it for 30+ pages is no easy task. Most of the book is spent waiting for conclusions to be made about thoughts that aren't ever fully completed. It's agonizing.
Nouwen makes some good points in his book (you can't help someone heal without stepping into their woundedness), but these few morsels of good advice are not worth sifting through the rest of the monotonous drivel. Don't buy it!!
We are all Wounded and if we want to be Healers we need to recognize our wounded us and this makes us better able to minister to others. I was in a hospital setting and I completed my course and enjoyed my ministry.
I lost my copy and recently realized I need to reread this book.
When you are in your 80's you have to look where you are today and see how you can still be of use to serve others.
Top reviews from other countries
Throughout my studying as a counsellor my own wounds have inevitably come to the surface and this book has helped me to not run from them but to embrace them as gifts to help others to heal.
I absolutely loved this sentence "The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there."
This is one of those return to books to remind you what loving others is all about and the gift to be found and shared in your own pain. I can't recommend it enough.
Not just for ministers and leaders but for anyone who desires authentic interactions with those who are in pain
So if I am honest I was disappointed by the first half of the book possibly because it was written around the year of my birth so references to recent studies (from 1969) on the character of young people as fatherless, convulsive and inward were a little hard to relate to. Although some of these characteristics probably continue - particularly fatherlessness I struggled to connect to Nouwen's thoughts.
However the third and fourth chapters utterly grabbed me and I will need to reread them to absorb more of the treasures that they hold. The overall theme is recognising we can only reach out to wounded people if we too recognise our own woundedness. He is speaking of spiritual and emotional healing rather than of physical healing. His take on loneliness caused a significant shift in my thinking.
"We live in a society in which loneliness has become one of the most painful human wounds.
But the more I think about loneliness, the more I think that the wound of loneliness is like the Grand Canyon - a deep incision in the surface of our existence which has become an inexhaustible source of beauty and self-understanding.
Therefore I would like to voice loudly and clearly what might seem unpopular and maybe even disturbing: The Christian life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift...perhaps the painful awareness of loneliness is an invitation to transcend our limitations and look beyond the boundaries of our existence."
As with Nouwen's other writing there is always a gentle direction towards Christ - the ultimate wounded healer "it is by his wounds that we are healed" and a tone of great love for his fellow man.
Each chapter is based around a story illustrating the overall theme of the chapter.
Overall I would say the book is best summed up by Nouwen's own words:
"In short:'Who can take away suffering without entering it?'. The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there."
Beautiful and I highly recommend the second half. Fortunately it's a short enough book that if you are in my age bracket or younger and struggle to relate to the 60's youth, it is still worth getting through the first half.