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Detail of Biography - Henri Nouwen
Name :
Henri Nouwen
Date :
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543
Category :
Birth Date :
24/01/2032
Birth Place :
Nijkerk in the Netherlands
Death Date :
21-Sep-96
Biography - Henri Nouwen
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[b]FAMILY BACKGROUND[/b][br /]
[br /]


Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen was born at Nijkerk in the Netherlands on January 24, 1932. Henri’s father, Laurent Jean Marie Nouwen was a Tax law expert. He worked for the government as ‘Inspector of Registration and Public Property’ for 16 years carrying the title of ‘Notarial Candidate’. He retired in Geysteren, outlived Henri by one and one half years, and died in 1997 at the age of 94. Henri’s grandfather, was the town clerk of Venlo & his grandmother, on that side of the family, occupied herself with raising 11 children.[br /]
[br /]


Henri’s mother, Maria Huberta Helena RamIselaar, was warm and religious. Her family lived in Amersfoort, in the heartland of the Netherlands. Henri’s maternal grandfather had died young; hence his grandmother took over the family store and built a prosperous ‘family’ business. She was interested in the arts. They too were Catholics. Maria’s eldest brother Antoon (Toon), was a priest and later a prominent monsignor, who influenced his nephew Henri’s vocation. Henri’s mother, of her own, studied English, Italian, Norwegian, French, Latin, and Greek. She was often called upon to interpret from Italian to Dutch. For many years she was the Supervisor of the Bookkeeping Department in the family business, run first by her mother and later by her brother.[br /]
[br /]


Her first child, Henri, was delivered after three days of pain and hardship, and perhaps because of this, a strong bond developed between Henri and his mother. Henri had three more siblings – Paul, Laurent and Laurien.[br /]
[br /]


Maria came to the US with Henri’s father to visit Henri in 1978. While there she was diagnosed with cancer and died three weeks later. Her sudden death left a deep void in Henri’s life.[br /]
[br /]


Henri’s brother, Paul, who was two years younger, studied law and worked in the insurance business. He later became prominent in The Netherlands as the President of Algemene Nederlandse WielrijdersBond (The Royal Dutch Touring Club), a three million member association for tourism, touring, water sport, and recreation. He married Marina San Giorgi in 1972, who was a teacher. Paul and Marina had no children.[br /]
[br /]


Ten years after Paul’s birth, another son, (Willem) Laurent, was born into the Nouwen family. Laurent is a lawyer and was partner in the firm Nauta Dutilh at Rotterdam. He married Heiltjen Kronenberg in 1975, a private practitioner and later a judge. They had three children, Sarah, Laura, and Raphael. After Henri’s death, Laurent founded the Henri Nouwen Stichting, a foundation to further Henri’s works particularly in the Netherlands, to support the Henri Nouwen Literary Centre in Canada, to assist L’Arche, and to promote and support those who are developing a living and viable Christian spirituality for today.[br /]
[br /]


Two years following Laurent’s birth a daughter, Laurien was born. Laurien also studied law but graduated in Italian. Laurien married a lawyer, Marc Van Campen, and they had three children, Frederique, Marc and Rainier. Later, she was divorced. Today she is managing director of a law firm in Arnheim.[br /]
[br /]

[b]CHILDHOOD[/b][br /]
[br /]


At school, Henri was a good student, energetic and pious. He expressed his desire to become a priest at the age of six. That time, his maternal grandmother had a miniature altar built for him, and small-size vestments stitched for him, so he could ‘celebrate’ the Eucharist with his siblings and playmates in the attic of their home.[br /]
[br /]


As a child Henri liked to be the leader. There were times when he, with his father and brother Paul had to ride on bicycles to the country in search of food for the family. At other times, he helped hide his father from those who came in search of him for compulsory labor in Germany.[br /]
[br /]


Henri’s father was proud of his accomplishments. He encouraged Henri and challenged him to do more and become a better and more successful person. Henri’s mother praised and affirmed him as he was, and called him to always love Jesus. Henri commented that he lived the first part of his life listening more to his father’s voice, and the second part to his mother’s voice.[br /]
[br /]


Henri often spoke of his beginnings by describing how he perceived himself as a youngster. He would say, “I grew up in a very protected and safe environment and I learned to know that I was Dutch and I was Catholic. It took me quite a long time to discover that there were people, many people, who were neither!”[br /]
[br /]


[b]PRIESTHOOD AND FURTHER FORMATION[/b][br /]
[br /]


Henri took education from the Jesuits at the Aloysius Gymnasium at the Hague. As it required too much study, he decided that he would not become a Jesuit priest. Henri took one year in the minor seminary in Apeldoorn after his secondary school. His uncle, Toon, was the president there. Henri was ordained priest for the diocese of Utrecht in 1957 by Archbishop B. Alfrink after he completed six years in the major seminary in Rijsenburg / Driebergen.[br /]
[br /]


Henri was interested in Pastoral Ministry. Though Psychology was frowned upon in Church circles, Henri knew that the comparatively new discipline of psychology was important. Immediately after ordination, Henri requested of his Bishop and was granted further study at the University of Nijmegen in Psychology where he spent six years.[br /]
[br /]


While studying Henri worked as a pastor for a short time in the mines, became a chaplain in the army, and chaplain of the Holland-America Line accompanying immigrants to the United States. He graduated as a psychologist in 1963. Upon the advice of Gordon Alport, the famous psychologist whom he met in New York, Henri took two more years of psychology at the Menninger Institute in Topeka, Kansas. These years are considered formative, which influenced his thinking and direction of life.[br /]
[br /]

[b]THE TEACHING YEARS[/b][br /]
[br /]

In 1966, Henri accepted the invitation to teach psychology at Notre Dame University and spent two years there. It was during this time, Henri realized that his deeper interests lay in the realm of Pastoral Theology. Thus he gradually began to develop courses in Pastoral Theology that reflected his knowledge of psychology. His first two books came out during this period.[br /]
[br /]


Henri returned to the Netherlands in 1968 to teach Psychology. Recognizing his preference for Theology, He engaged in studies for a Master’s Degree in Theology and graduated in 1971. Henri’s passion for educating in the area of pastoral ministry was confirmed by these studies[br /]
[br /]

[b]HIS LIFE AT YALE AND HARVARD[/b][br /]
[br /]

In 1971 Yale Divinity School approached him with an invitation to teach. Henri began teaching in the fall of 1971, after certain conditions laid by him were accepted by Yale. Henri taught there for 10 years. He was a popular teacher and loved his students. He also made many good friends. This period proved to be very fruitful as the material from his classes began to be published.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Experiences that had an impact on his life and work at Yale and beyond:[/b][br /]
[br /]

a) Henri discovered solitude by twice choosing to spend about seven months, living as a monk, in the Trappist Monastery of the Genesee. He wrote about his experience in The Genesee Diary.[br /]
[br /]


b) He also conducted further study and became a fellow at the Ecumenical Institute at College Ville, Minnesota. This study brought him in touch with people of other faiths. He also took five months in Rome as a scholar at the North American College where he published Clowning in Rome. The solitude and the study profoundly affected his thinking and his future ministry.[br /]
[br /]


c) Henri’s mother died during this tenure at Yale. Her loving, caring and challenging voice was all of a sudden silenced. Henri wrote feelingly about this moment, in A Letter of Consolation and In Memoriam.[br /]
[br /]


In the late 70s Henri became interested in all that was happening in Central and South America. He educated himself around the political and theological developments that were causing so much change and suffering for the poor.[br /]
[br /]


He decided to leave Yale in 1981 choosing to go to live in Peru with a view to staying there permanently working with the people there. Although this proved not to be his direction, his visits to the south changed his worldview and his convictions about his own life and vocation. He wrote during this time the books, Gracias and Love in a Fearful Land. Harvard invited him to teach, and again, with conditions he accepted a part-time role to teach three semesters. Meanwhile, he crisscrossed North America on speaking tours about conditions in South America, as a sort of reverse mission with the poor there. This was a painful time because his energies were scattered and he was unable to find himself either as professor at Harvard or as ‘missionary’ to the south.[br /]
[br /]

[b]THE LAST DECADE: A HOME IN L’ARCHE[/b][br /]
[br /]

A chance meeting with Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities that welcome people with disabilities, inspired Henri to resign from Harvard and spend a sabbatical year, writing, in Trosly-Breuil, France, in the original community of L’Arche where Jean Vanier lived. He felt at home there and in 1986 accepted an invitation to live and work as pastor for the L’Arche community of Daybreak in Toronto, Canada. This year of transition is the subject of his book, The Road to Daybreak.[br /]
[br /]


His move in L’Arche Daybreak community was remarkably courageous. L’Arche is an international network of communities, where people with developmental disabilities and their friends live together. Most of the members of L’Arche do not read.[br /]
[br /]


Henri’s restless spirit wanted a home where his reputation would mean nothing. He found it: everyone at Daybreak was interested in a brilliant 55-year-old priest who was unable to make a sandwich; who towed a new car driving it away from the dealer; who spoke with his giant hands flailingly and his whole gangly body quivering with his desire to communicate; whose Dutch accent could offer a whole meditation on ‘face’; who willingly shared details of his life in his 30-some books.[br /]
[br /]


A year after arriving in Daybreak Henri suffered a severe depression. He left the community for seven months of solitude, guidance, and recovery. During this time he wrote his classic book, The Return of the Prodigal Son. He later published The Inner Voice of Love which was based on spiritual imperatives that he wrote to himself during this dark and suffering time.[br /]
[br /]


Just as Daybreak loved Henri, he grew to love Daybreak. He was welcomed into one of the homes to live with the men and women with a disability and was asked to help Adam Arnett, a severely disabled man, with his morning routine. He developed a deep friendship with Adam Arnett, a man who never spoke a word, who taught Henri to slow down, to be physically present, and to trust love that could grow without words. In Henri’s book Adam, God’s Beloved, written shortly before he died, describes how Adam became his friend, his teacher, and his guide.[br /]
[br /]


Henri rarely accepted a speaking engagement without taking a member of the community (person with a disability) to accompany him and to speak with him. “People won’t remember of a word I said,”he reflected, “but they’ll remember that Bill van Buren and I stood here as friends and equals and spoke together.” His contribution to the spirituality of L’Arche was profound, as he was able to creatively interpret the Beatitudes, and especially, ‘Blessed are the Poor’, in a way that touched the hearts of those within and beyond the boundaries of L’Arche.[br /]
[br /]


Besides, his work in the community as pastor, Henri was encouraged by the Daybreak community to continue his duties as lecturer, writer, and spiritual director. He was given a two-room office in the Daybreak office building, commonly known as the ‘Big House’. When Henri was home, he worked each day in the office with his secretary, meeting people, answering correspondence, attending meetings, writing articles, and attending all the necessary details of publishing his many books.[br /]
[br /]


Henri was sent by the people of Daybreak on a year’s sabbatical for writing in 1995. During this time he wrote five books and the last of these to be published is his Sabbatical Journey which describes the year in detail.[br /]
[br /]

[b]HENRI’S DEATH[/b][br /]
[br /]

Henri suffered a heart attack in the Netherlands, his homeland. Three weeks after his return from his sabbatical, enroute to Russia to do a TV documentary about Rembrandt’s painting of the Prodigal Son, his 93-year-old father and his siblings visited him and cared for him in the hospital in Hilversum, Holland. He began to recover and the whole thing did not seem so serious. Unfortunately, still in the hospital and after less than a week he suddenly suffered a second, fatal heart attack in the early morning of Saturday, September 21, 1996. He was 64 then.[br /]
[br /]


There were two funeral services, one in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where Cardinal Simonis presided, and the other in Toronto, Canada, with the participation of the community of Daybreak. Henri was buried in King City, close to Daybreak, in Richmond Hill, Ontario. His funeral in Canada gathered over a thousand people of many races, faiths, economic levels, some leading intellectuals and some labeled mentally handicapped, his family from Holland and the children of L’Arche Daybreak, peace activists, military chaplains, dancers in wheelchairs, all people grateful, to celebrate and continue Henri’s life.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

Henri Nouwen was a writer, Catholic priest, spiritual director, psychologist, pastoral theologist, lecturer & counselor all rolled into one. He gave countless lectures, welcomed hundreds of people for counsel.[br /]
[br /]


He was never a cloistered academic. Henri believed that God loved all – and yet he couldn’t quite put his trust totally in God. So the gift and struggle of his life remained inter-twined – the struggle of his own chaotic emotional life, his insecurity and fear generating the gift of an enormous understanding and compassion towards every other human being.[br /]
[br /]


One of Henri’s greatest achievements, and the spur behind his writing and teaching, was to trust that the truth of his often-difficult life would help others.[br /]
[br /]


Henri Nouwen was eager to cultivate people of all kinds - to help them take root and grow. The celebrated and much translated author of more than 30 books, was a member of L’Arche Daybreak in Toronto. He taught at Harvard, Notre Dame and Yale, and was in demand around the world as a speaker and teacher.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

[b]January 24, 1932[/b] Birth of Henri Nouwen at Nijkerk in the Netherlands[br /]
[br /]


[b]1938[/b] He expressed his desire to become a priest[br /]
[br /]


[b]1957[/b] Henri was ordained priest for the diocese of Utrecht in 1957 by Archbishop Alfrink.[br /]
[br /]


[b]1963 [/b]He graduated as a psychologist[br /]
[br /]


[b]1966 [/b]At Notre Dame University he accepted to teach psychology.[br /]
[br /]


[b]1968 [/b]He returned to the Netherlands to teach psychology.[br /]
[br /]


[b]1971 [/b]Graduated and obtained Masters Degree in Theology. Yale Divinity School approached him with an invitation to teach, and in the fall of 71 he began to teach there.[br /]
[br /]


[b]1981 [/b]He decided to leave Yale[br /]
[br /]


[b]1985 [/b]He was invited to live and work as a pastor in the community of L’Arche Daybreak in the fall of 85.[br /]
[br /]


[b]1986 [/b]He began his ministry there in September.[br /]
[br /]


[b]1995 [/b]Henri was sent by the people of Daybreak on a year’s sabbatical for writing.[br /]
[br /]


[b]September 21, 1996[/b] Henri died of a heart attack, in Hilversum, the Netherlands, aged 64.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

Henri Nouwen was a writer, Catholic priest, spiritual director, psychologist, pastoral theologist, lecturer & counselor all rolled into one. He gave countless lectures, welcomed hundreds of people for counsel.[br /]
[br /]


He was never a cloistered academic. Henri believed that God loved all – and yet he couldn’t quite put his trust totally in God. So the gift and struggle of his life remained inter-twined – the struggle of his own chaotic emotional life, his insecurity and fear generating the gift of an enormous understanding and compassion towards every other human being.[br /]
[br /]


One of Henri’s greatest achievements, and the spur behind his writing and teaching, was to trust that the truth of his often-difficult life would help others.[br /]
[br /]


Henri Nouwen was eager to cultivate people of all kinds - to help them take root and grow. The celebrated and much translated author of more than 30 books, was a member of L’Arche Daybreak in Toronto. He taught at Harvard, Notre Dame and Yale, and was in demand around the world as a speaker and teacher.[br /]
[br /]


Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen was born at Nijkerk in the Netherlands on January 24, 1932. Henri’s father, Laurent Jean Marie Nouwen was a Tax law expert. He worked for the government as ‘Inspector of Registration and Public Property’ for 16 years carrying the title of ‘Notarial Candidate’. He retired in Geysteren, outlived Henri by one and one half years, and died in 1997 at the age of 94. Henri’s grandfather, was the town clerk of Venlo & his grandmother, on that side of the family, occupied herself with raising 11 children.[br /]
[br /]

Henri’s mother, Maria Huberta Helena RamIselaar, was warm and religious. Her family lived in Amersfoort, in the heartland of the Netherlands. Henri’s maternal grandfather had died young; hence his grandmother took over the family store and built a prosperous ‘family’ business. She was interested in the arts. They too were Catholics. Maria’s eldest brother Antoon (Toon), was a priest and later a prominent monsignor, who influenced his nephew Henri’s vocation. Henri’s mother, of her own, studied English, Italian, Norwegian, French, Latin, and Greek. She was often called upon to interpret from Italian to Dutch. For many years she was the Supervisor of the Bookkeeping Department in the family business, run first by her mother and later by her brother.[br /]
[br /]


Her first child, Henri, was delivered after three days of pain and hardship, and perhaps because of this, a strong bond developed between Henri and his mother. Henri had three more siblings – Paul, Laurent and Laurien.[br /]
[br /]


1Maria came to the US with Henri’s father to visit Henri in 1978. While there she was diagnosed with cancer and died three weeks later. Her sudden death left a deep void in Henri’s life.[br /]
[br /]


Henri’s brother, Paul, who was two years younger, studied law and worked in the insurance business. He later became prominent in The Netherlands as the President of Algemene Nederlandse WielrijdersBond (The Royal Dutch Touring Club), a three million member association for tourism, touring, water sport, and recreation. He married Marina San Giorgi in 1972, who was a teacher. Paul and Marina had no children.[br /]
[br /]


Ten years after Paul’s birth, another son, (Willem) Laurent, was born into the Nouwen family. Laurent is a lawyer and was partner in the firm Nauta Dutilh at Rotterdam. He married Heiltjen Kronenberg in 1975, a private practitioner and later a judge. They had three children, Sarah, Laura, and Raphael. After Henri’s death, Laurent founded the Henri Nouwen Stichting, a foundation to further Henri’s works particularly in the Netherlands, to support the Henri Nouwen Literary Centre in Canada, to assist L’Arche, and to promote and support those who are developing a living and viable Christian spirituality for today.[br /]
[br /]


Two years following Laurent’s birth a daughter, Laurien was born. Laurien also studied law but graduated in Italian. Laurien married a lawyer, Marc Van Campen, and they had three children, Frederique, Marc and Rainier. Later, she was divorced. Today she is managing director of a law firm in Arnheim. "On Eternity Of Fruitfulness[br /]

In 1993 he wrote, “Our death may be the end of our success, our productivity, our fame or our importance among people, but it is not the end of our fruitfulness. In fact, the opposite it true...”[br /]
[br /]

[b]On Innocence[/b][br /]
[br /]

“Before I am sinful, I am innocent; that is, before I participate in the evil of the world, I am touched with goodness...I have to claim that innocence in me. It belongs to my deepest self.”[br /]
[br /]

[b]On Icons[/b][br /]
[br /]

“They can lead us into the inner room of prayer and bring us close to the heart of God.”[br /]
[br /]

[b]To Marc About Jesus[/b][br /]

“I want to give you a taste of the richness of life as a Christian, as I know it, experience it, and continue to discover it.”[br /]
[br /]

[b]Referring To The Many Journeys, People And Events That Fill The Pages Of The Journal, He Sums Up:[/b][br /]

“What binds them together in their wide variety is the spiritual struggle to say ‘yes’ to Jesus’ invitation, ‘Come and follow me.’ It is a screaming and kicking ‘yes’ that fills these pages.”[br /]
[br /]

[b]Describing A Moment Of Grace[/b][br /]

""When Holy Thursday came, I began to write to Jesus -- from heart to heart...I did not look at any article or book. I simply prayed as I wrote and wrote as I prayed...The words just flowed out of me...""[br /]
[br /]

[b]Sharing Knowledge[/b][br /]
""When I was hit by a van while hitchhiking and found myself, soon after, faced with the possibility of death, I felt more than ever that what I was living then I had to live for others...I feel that this interruption, which could have been the last, gave me a new knowledge of God that contrasted radically with what I had learned so far. And so, more strongly than ever before, I feel a need to write about it and simply present this knowledge I cannot keep for myself alone.”" "January 24, 1932 Birth of Henri Nouwen at Nijkerk in the Netherlands[br /]
[br /]

1938 He expressed his desire to become a priest[br /]
[br /]


1957 Henri was ordained priest for the diocese of Utrecht in 1957 by Archbishop Alfrink.[br /]
[br /]


1963 He graduated as a psychologist[br /]
[br /]


1966 At Notre Dame University he accepted to teach psychology.[br /]
[br /]


1968 He returned to the Netherlands to teach psychology.[br /]
[br /]


1971 Graduated and obtained Masters Degree in Theology. Yale Divinity School approached him with an invitation to teach, and in the fall of 71 he began to teach there.[br /]
[br /]


1981 He decided to leave Yale[br /]
[br /]


1985 He was invited to live and work as a pastor in the community of L’Arche Daybreak in the fall of 85.[br /]
[br /]


1986 He began his ministry there in September.[br /]
[br /]


1995 Henri was sent by the people of Daybreak on a year’s sabbatical for writing.[br /]
[br /]


September 21, 1996 Henri died of a heart attack, in Hilversum, the Netherlands, aged 64."[br /]
[br /]

In all his writings Fr. Nouwen spoke of one central truth, that each person is the beloved of God. But Nouwen’s real gift was to write in such a beautiful and simple way about how easy it is to lose touch with our belovedness. His works are listed as follows :[br /]
[br /]

[b]THE NOTRE DAME YEARS[/b][br /]
[br /]

Henri’s first two books were published during these years.
Intimacy: Pastoral Psychological Essays (Fides, 1969; Harper & Row, 1981)[br /]
[br /]


Intimacy is the result of two years at Notre Dame (1966-68). Here Nouwen responds to many questions put to him by students and friends on campus. The questions seemed to boil down to a single basic question: "How can I find a creative and fulfilling intimacy in my relationship with God and my fellow men?”Seven essays are grouped under four headings: Intimacy & Sexuality, Intimacy & Prayer, Intimacy & Community, Intimacy & the Ministry.[br /]
[br /]


Creative Ministry: Beyond Professionalism In Teaching, Preaching, Counseling, Organizing And Celebrating (Doubleday, 1971)[br /]
[br /]


Here Henri explores the relationship between professionalism and spirituality in pastoral ministry. Nouwen’s basic thesis: Unlike other professions, ministry is not an eight-to-five job, but primarily a way of life for others to see and understand so that liberation can become a possibility.[br /]
[br /]

[b]THE L’ARCHE YEARS[/b][br /]
[br /]


Life signs: Intimacy, Fecundity, & Ecstasy In Christian Perspective (Doubleday, 1986)[br /]
[br /]


Visiting with Jean Vanier and the L’Arche community in France, Nouwen finds in the small society of the handicapped a paradigm for a society governed by fear: "The agenda of the world...is an agenda of fear and power.”Detailing the extent to which fear wields its destructive power in our lives, he points to the way that frees us from living as captives in the house of fear and makes it possible for us to move into the house of loveBehold The Beauty Of The Lord: Praying With Icons (Ave Maria, 1987)[br /]
[br /]


Icons do not easily reveal themselves. They do not speak immediately to the senses. But with the help of a guide, Nouwen shows, "they can lead us into the inner room of prayer and bring us close to the heart of God.”Focusing on four Russian icons, he distills four themes: Living in the House of Love (Rublev’s Holy Trinity), Belonging To God (The Virgin of Vladimir), Seeing Christ (The Savior of Zvengorod), and Liberating the World (The Descent of the Holy Spirit)[br /]
[br /]


Letters To Marc About Jesus (Harper Collins, 1988, trans. from Dutch: Brieven Aan Marc).[br /]
[br /]


The strength of this book is the freshness and immediacy that characterizes Nouwen’s writing to an 18-year-old nephew growing up in affluent surroundings in his native Holland, yet keenly interested in his uncle’s world view as a spiritual writer. Nouwen briefs him -- and the reader -- from the start, on what to expect in all that follows: “I want to give you a taste of the richness of life as a Christian, as I know it, experience it, and continue to discover it.”[br /]
[br /]


The Road To Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey (Doubleday, 1988)[br /]
[br /]


A milestone documenting Nouwen’s definitive break with his academic career, and detailing both the inner and outer struggle that leads him finally to embrace his call to join the community of L’Arche at Daybreak in Toronto. Referring to the many journeys, people and events that fill the pages of the journal, he sums up: “What binds them together in their wide variety is the spiritual struggle to say ‘yes’ to Jesus’ invitation, Come and follow me.”[br /]
[br /]


In The Name Of Jesus: Reflections On Christian Leadership (Crossroad, 1989)[br /]
[br /]


This book has a double edged cutting to it. Invited to Washington, D.C., to give a lecture on Christian leadership of the Future, Nouwen demonstrates his own style of leadership by bringing with him a member of the community of the mentally handicapped he serves at Daybreak, in Toronto. What is he to do when, standing at centerstage and acknowledging the applause following his lecture, Bill walks up to him and asks if he, too, may address the audience?[br /]
[br /]

Heart Speaks To Heart: Three Prayers To Jesus (Ave Maria, 1989)[br /]
[br /]


Secluded in a Trappist monastery for a retreat during Holy Week, the author describes a moment of grace: "When Holy Thursday came, I began to write to Jesus -- from heart to heart...I did not look at any article or book. I simply prayed as I wrote and wrote as I prayed...The words just flowed out of me...”[br /]
[br /]


Beyond The Mirror: Reflections On Death And Life (Crossroad, 1990)[br /]
[br /]


Nouwen telescopes in his introduction the unique soulscape awaiting the reader in this book: “When I was hit by a van while hitchhiking and found myself, soon after, faced with the possibility of death, I felt more than ever that what I was living then I had to live for others...I feel that this interruption, which could have been the last, gave me a new knowledge of God that contrasted radically with what I had learned so far. And so, more strongly than ever before, I feel a need to write about it and simply present this knowledge I cannot keep for myself alone.”[br /]
[br /]


Walk With Jesus: Stations Of The Cross (Illustrations by Sr. Helen David, Orbis, 1990).[br /]
[br /]


Nouwen reflects on how “Jesus continues his painful, yet hopeful journey among our brothers and sisters who are being condemned...tortured, and killed, day after day all over the world.”
[br /]
[br /]

The Return Of The Prodigal Son (Doubleday, 1992, Pp.142).[br /]
[br /]


Exhausted from a six-week lecture tour across the U.S. in 1983, Nouwen seeks rest in the L’Arche community in France. During his stay, a painting of Rembrandt catches his attention: The Return of the Prodigal Son. Sustained reflection on the painting slowly emerges into awareness of a new vocation coming to flower in his heart, his own personal call to “come home,” to make his home with L’Arche and the handicapped. Identifying with each of the three main figures in the painting, Nouwen crafts a fresh interpretation of a classic story, concluding: “Though I am both the younger son and the elder son, I am not to remain them, but called to become the Father.”[br /]
[br /]


Life Of The Beloved: Spiritual Living In A Secular World (Crossroad, 1992).[br /]
[br /]


The prologue frames the background leading to the publication of this unique volume. A close-knit friendship with a young friend who styles himself a “secular Jew” leads to a pressing request of the author to “...speak a word of hope to people who no longer (come) to churches or synagogues and for whom priests and rabbis (are) no longer the obvious counselors.”[br /]
[br /]


Jesus & Mary: Finding Our Sacred Center (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1615 Republic St., Cincinnati, OH 45210, 1993,)[br /]
[br /]


The publishers found the reflections in article form and rightly concluded they deserved a wider readership. The booklet holds two parts: The first, a homily given on May 31, 1988, during the Marian Year at St. Michael’s Cathedral, Toronto. The second, Nouwen’s journal of his pilgrimage to Lourdes in January 1990.[br /]
[br /]

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation On Dying And Caring (Harper Collins, 1994)[br /]
[br /]


“Is death something so terrible and absurd that we are better off not thinking or talking about it? Is death such an undesirable part of our existence that we are better off acting as if it were not real? Is death such an absolute end of all our thoughts and actions that we simply cannot face it?” Nouwen addresses these questions each of us must come to terms with from the unique vantage point of one who only a few years previously found himself very close to death after an accident. Drawing on his own experience, he shows how we can come to befriend our death and find in it the mentor who not only teaches us the sublimity of our human existence, but also leaves us with many clues to probe our ultimate destiny.[br /]
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With Burning Hearts: A Meditation On The Eucharistic Life (Orbis, 1994)[br /]
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Drawing on Luke’s Gospel Narrative of the story of the two disciples on the road to temporary celebration of the Eucharist, he raises the question: “How is this daily celebration connected with the daily life of ordinary men and women?” He builds his response around five themes: Loss, Presence, Invitation, Communion, Mission, leading the reader to find a “network of connections” between the celebration of the Eucharist and daily human experience.[br /]
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Here And Now: Living In The Spirit (Crossroad, 1994)[br /]
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Readers familiar with Nouwen’s previous works will find here passages and themes touched upon or treated in his previous books. The author explains in his introduction: "I didn’t try to say things I had never said before, but things that really matter to me. I didn’t try to write a new book, but to meditate on life as I am trying to live it.”[br /]
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Path Series: The Path of Waiting / The Path of Freedom / The Path of Power / The Path of Peace. (Crossroad, 1995).[br /]
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These are short essays culled from previously published material of Henri Eysenck. From The Path of Power: “God looks at us and weeps because wherever we use power to give us a sense of self, we separate from God and each other, and our lives become diabolic, in the literal meaning of that word: divisive.”[br /]
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Ministry And Spirituality: Three Books in One (Continuum, 1996)[br /]
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Shortly before he died, Nouwen negotiated a publishing contract he had long hoped to bring from dream to reality: a complete editing of his earlier published works to bring them into conformity with inclusive standards. The project was launched with this first volume of three of his earlier books under one cover: Creative Ministry, The Wounded Healer, and Reaching Out.[br /]
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[b]LATIN AMERICA INTERLUDE [/b][br /]
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Gracias! A Latin American Journal (Harper & Row, 1983).[br /]
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In Gracias he lives his theories about the compassionate life. Stepping down from 10 years as professor of Pastoral Theology at Yale in July of 1981, Nouwen promptly embarked on a plan which had been taking shape in his mind as his academic career headed toward its climax: to work among the poor in the barrios of Lima. Gracias chronicles his day-to-day experiences in his Third World parish.[br /]
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Love In A Fearful Land: A Guatemalan Story (Ave Maria, 1985)[br /]
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Nouwen’s continuing interest in Latin America brings him to Guatemala, to the site of the murder of Fr. Stanley Rother, put to death by the Guatemalan military for being an outspoken voice for poor. It is the story of brutal government oppression, of fearful living conditions that continues to be told today. But it is also a story of heroic courage and generosity as another North American priest, Fr. John Vesey, who volunteers to replace the martyred missionary as shepherd of an oppressed people.[br /]
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[b]THE YALE YEARS[/b][br /]
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With Open Hands: New Revised Edition, (Ave Maria, 1995. Originally trans. from the Dutch, Met Open Handen, Ave Maria, 1972)[br /]
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Nouwen has updated the entire text to reflect the changes in the world and the church. In six parts: With Clenched Fists/Prayer and Silence/Prayer and Acceptance/Prayer and Hope/Prayer and Compassion/Prayer and Prophetic Criticism.[br /]
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Thomas Merton: Contemplative Critic (Fides, 1972; Harper & Row, 1981)[br /]
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In this introduction to the life and thought of Thomas Merton, Nouwen explains: "I met him only once at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. Yet thereafter, his person and work had such an impact on me that his sudden death stirred me as if it were the death of one of my closest friends. It therefore seems natural for me to write for others about the man who has inspired me most in recent years".[br /]
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The Wounded Healer: Ministry In Contemporary Society (Doubleday, 1972).[br /]
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What does it mean to be a minister in contemporary society where men and women who want to be of service find the familiar ways crumbling and themselves stripped of their traditional protections? Nouwen addresses the question: "After all my attempts to articulate the predicament of contemporary humanity, the necessity to articulate the predicament of the ministers themselves became most important. For ministers are called to recognize the sufferings of their times in their own hearts and to make that recognition the starting point of their service.” In four parts: Ministry in a Dislocated World/Ministry for a Rootless Generation/Ministry to a Hopeless Individual/Ministry by a Lonely Minister.[br /]
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Aging: The Fulfillment Of Life Co-authored with Walter Gaffney. (Doubleday, 1974).[br /]
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The elderly are our prophets. They remind us that what we see so clearly in them is a process in which we all share. Grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren - they all make the whole of our life cycle visible and tangible to us at every moment of our lives. The elderly are our teachers who tell us about the dangers as well as the possibilities of becoming old.[br /]
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Out Of Solitude: Three Meditations On The Christian Life (Ave Maria, 1974)[br /]
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291,000 copies sold. Drawing on three biblical texts, the author reflects on the two poles between which the Christian life is constantly held in tension: solitary prayer and active ministry. His thesis: Care and ministry, to bear fruit worthy of the name Christian, must be born out of solitude, i.e., a deep, personal involvement with the living God.[br /]
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Reaching Out: The Three Movements Of The Spiritual Life (Doubleday, 1975).[br /]
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Nouwen gives his own evaluation of one of his best selling books: “This book is closer to me than anything I have written and tries to articulate my most personal thoughts and feelings about being a Christian.” In three movements: From Loneliness to Solitude/From Hostility to Hospitality/From Illusion to Prayer. Available in cassette: Ave Maria (“The Lonely Search For God”)[br /]
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Genesee Diary: Report From A Trappist Monastery (Doubleday, 1976)[br /]
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Taking advantage of a sabbatical, the author, by special arrangement with the Trappist monks of Genesee Abbey in upstate New York spends seven months in seclusion at the abbey. Living the day-to-day monastic routine as a fully integrated, if temporary member of the community provides him with a unique opportunity to probe his own life as a busy lecturer, writer and university professor in contrast to the slower-paced lifestyle of the monks[br /]
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The Living Reminder: Service And Prayer In Memory Of Jesus Christ (Seabury, 1977, Harper Collins, 1983)[br /]
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“What are the spiritual resources of ministers? What prevents them from becoming dull, sullen, lukewarm bureaucrats, people who have many projects, plans and appointments, but who have lost their heart somewhere in the midst of their activities? What keeps ministers vital, alive, energetic and full of zeal?” Nouwen gives his own answers to these important questions. In three parts: The minister as a healing reminder, a sustaining reminder, a guiding reminder.[br /]
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Clowning In Rome: Reflections On Solitude, Celibacy, Prayer And Contemplation (Doubleday Image, 1979)[br /]
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Four lectures originally given during a five-month stay in Rome. Why “clowning” in Rome? “The clowns remind us . . . that we share the same human weaknesses.” The clown is a “powerful image to help us understand the role of the minister in contemporary society.” Playing the clown, Nouwen explores four “clown-like” or “foolish” elements in the spiritual life: being alone, treasuring emptiness, standing naked before God, and simply seeing things for what they are.”[br /]
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In Memoriam (Ave Maria, 1980, Pp.62).[br /]
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A moving account of the sudden illness and subsequent death of his mother, whose first symptoms of cancer are discovered during a family visit with the author at Yale in the fall of 1978. Though Nouwen’s reflections on the way he experienced his mother’s death were intended originally for his own and his family’s cherished remembrance, copies circulated among close friend eventually led to pleas for publication. Yielding, Nouwen notes in his introduction: "In life she belonged to a few; in death she is for all"[br /]
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The Way Of The Heart: Desert Spirituality And Contemporary Ministry (Seabury, 1981, Harper Collins, 1983).[br /]
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A contemporary rereading of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Focusing on the threefold command to Abba Arsenius, "Flee! Be silent! Pray!” Nouwen pursues the implications for contemporary ministers of early Christian teaching on the fundamental role of the three disciplines of solitude, silence, and unceasing prayer.[br /]
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Making All Things New: An Invitation To The Spiritual Life (Harper & Row, 1981)[br /]
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“What do you mean when you speak about the spiritual life?” Nouwen responds to a frequently asked question in this small and very readable volume, which explores the basics of Christian spirituality. Two quotes: “To be bored does not mean that we express the spiritual crisis of our time is to say that most of us have an address but cannot be found there.”[br /]
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A Cry For Mercy: Prayers From The Genesee (Doubleday, 1981).[br /]
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Returning to the Abbey of the Genesee for a second stay of seven months (Cf. Genesee Diary, above), Nouwen decides on a new experiment: instead of keeping a diary, he writes a prayer each day.[br /]
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Compassion: A Reflection On The Christian Life (Doubleday, 1982,)[br /]
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With co-authors Donald P. McNeill and Douglas A. Morrison, Nouwen explores the unique role of compassion in the Christian life. At first sight compassion seems to be a natural, instinctive, human response to others’ pain and suffering. But on closer inspection the authors conclude that for the Christian true compassion is born only out of prayerful reflection on the implications of the Incarnation and the demands it makes on all who would follow in the footsteps of the Man of Sorrows[br /]
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A Letter Of Consolation (Harper and Row, 1982,)[br /]
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A companion volume to be read in sequence to In Memoriam. Six months after the death of his mother, during his second protracted stay at the Trappist Abbey of the Genesee, Nouwen found himself deeply in touch with his own grief over the loss of his mother. He wanted to share his feelings with someone "who could really understand what was happening inside me. And who could better understand me than my own father?” The result: A Letter of Consolation. Originally a strictly personal letter, the published text was the inevitable result of the urging of friends. A deeply moving account, and, like In Memoriam, a healing gift to the bereaved.[br /]
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THE FINAL YEAR

Can You Drink The Cup?: The Challenge Of The Spiritual Life (Ave Maria, 1996 )

Nouwen focuses on the cup as the centerpiece around which he builds a reflection appealing in its simplicity and delightful in its symmetry. He highlights three basic images: holding the cup, lifting the cup, drinking the cup. Elaborating on the meaning to be drawn from each of these simple gestures, he crafts a finely honed meditation on a spirituality of discipleship. Three foundational disciplines emerge as essential to any serious quest: silence, word and action.

The Inner Voice Of Love: A Journey Through Anguish To Freedom (Doubleday, 1996)

Certainly one of the most compelling of Nouwen’ s books. Its power lies in its strictly personal nature, a private journal not intended for publication. For eight years it sat in a drawer in Nouwen’s room, shared only with closest friends. Over the years, friends urged that it be released for publication. Nouwen resisted throughout, insisting that it was too personal. Fortunately, only months before his death, he yielded to persistent demands and after the necessary editing released the journal to his publisher. The record of a fierce inner struggle following what he called “an interrupted friendship,” a friendship that he had come to depend on, only to find himself seemingly abandoned and rejected. He left his community, went into counseling therapy, and during this period, after each counseling session wrote a “spiritual imperative”- “a command to myself that had emerged from our sessions. These imperatives were directed to my own heart. They were not meant for anyone but myself.” That is precisely what makes them so powerful.[br /]
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Bread For The Journey: Thoughts For Every Day Of The Year (Harper: San Francisco, 1997).[br /]
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Responding to a request from his publishers for a "Thought-a-Day” book, Nouwen rejected the traditional format of making a patchwork of already published material, insisting to his editors, “Everything should be new.” He began the task by going into retreat and imposing on himself a strict discipline of rising early and taking pen in hand: "I just sat down each morning, whether I had any ideas or not, and waited until my pen started to move and pull words out of my mind and heart.” Four months later he counted 387 reflections. All that remained was to cut the loaf down to the size of the pan and put it in the oven. The final result: a veritable “Summa Nouwenlogica,” covering the full sweep of Henri’s own intensely lived faith journey.[br /]
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Spiritual Journals : Three Books In One (Continuum, 1997).[br /]
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Here is the second in the Continuum Series, (see Spirituality and Ministry above) combining the three major journals in print before Nouwen’s death: Genesee Diary, Gracias, and Road To Daybreak)[br /]
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Adam: God’s Beloved (Orbis, 1997).[br /]
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Less than five months after Nouwen began his year’s sabbatical, he received a call from Daybreak alerting him to the fact that his dear friend, Adam Arnett was near death. Nouwen immediately boarded a plane and flew to his bedside. He arrived just in time to sit at his side, hold his hand, administer the last anointing, and wait out the hours till he would breathe his last. So moved was Nouwen by his death, he decided to write a book about his friend. Here we learn interesting details of Adam’s early childhood, his seemingly healthy condition as an infant, and only later the first signs of retardation, followed by the diagnosis of epilepsy.[br /]
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The unique beauty of the story is Nouwen’s casting it in parallel to the Jesus Story: “Adam’s Hidden Life/Adam’s Desert/Adam’s Public Life”- on through “Adam’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.”[br /]
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Sabbatical Journey: The Final Year (Crossroad, 1998).[br /]
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Nouwen was given leave from his community at Daybreak to begin a sabbatical year, a year in which he had planned to devote himself especially to writing. It turned out to be indeed, a year in which he produced five books, his most prolific output in any comparable time span. Three were completed before his sudden death only three weeks following the end of the sabbatical. The remaining two were very near completion, namely Adam, God’s Beloved, and the book noted here, Sabbaticans the journal.[br /]
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[b]On Eternity Of Fruitfulness[/b][br /]

In 1993 he wrote, “Our death may be the end of our success, our productivity, our fame or our importance among people, but it is not the end of our fruitfulness. In fact, the opposite it true...”[br /]
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[b]On Innocence[/b][br /]

“Before I am sinful, I am innocent; that is, before I participate in the evil of the world, I am touched with goodness...I have to claim that innocence in me. It belongs to my deepest self.”[br /]
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[b]On Icons[/b][br /]


“They can lead us into the inner room of prayer and bring us close to the heart of God.”[br /]
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[b]To Marc About Jesus[/b][br /]

“I want to give you a taste of the richness of life as a Christian, as I know it, experience it, and continue to discover it.”[br /]
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[b]Referring To The Many Journeys, People And Events That Fill The Pages Of The Journal, He Sums Up:[/b][br /]

“What binds them together in their wide variety is the spiritual struggle to say ‘yes’ to Jesus’ invitation, ‘Come and follow me.’ It is a screaming and kicking ‘yes’ that fills these pages.”[br /]
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[b]Describing A Moment Of Grace[/b][br /]

"When Holy Thursday came, I began to write to Jesus -- from heart to heart...I did not look at any article or book. I simply prayed as I wrote and wrote as I prayed...The words just flowed out of me..."[br /]
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[b]Sharing Knowledge[/b][br /]

"When I was hit by a van while hitchhiking and found myself, soon after, faced with the possibility of death, I felt more than ever that what I was living then I had to live for others...I feel that this interruption, which could have been the last, gave me a new knowledge of God that contrasted radically with what I had learned so far. And so, more strongly than ever before, I feel a need to write about it and simply present this knowledge I cannot keep for myself alone.”[br /]
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