A Spirituality of Waiting. By Henri Nouwen. Henri J. M. Nouwen, a Dutch priest living in Canada, is the author of numerous books on deepening the spiritual life. PDF | This article is the first in a series of two dealing with Henri Nouwen's contribution to pastoral care. The present article focuses on the impact of cognitive. Apr 11, Download [PDF] Books The Wounded Healer (PDF, ePub, Mobi) by Henri Nouwen Read Online Full Free.
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Adam, God's beloved. Clowning in Rome: Reflections on Solitude, Celibacy, Prayer, and Contemplation. Nouwen, Jesus Christ, Adam Arnett (), Mary Blessed Virgin, Saint, Henri J. M. Henri J.M. Nouwen wrote over 40 books on the spiritual life. He corresponded For more information about Henri Nouwen, his writing and the work of the. The Way of the Heart had its genesis in a seminar that Henri Nouwen taught at Yale In this short but profound book Henri turns to the spirituality of the Desert.
Image, Henri Nouwen, the world-renowned spiritual guide and counselor, understood the spiritual life as a journey of faith and transformation that is deepened by accountability, community, and relationships. Whereas Jung was convinced about the psychological value of immortality, he was ambivalent about the reality of immortality. Subscribe to continue reading. By community, I don't mean formal communities. It's an incredible mystery of God's love that the more you know how deeply you are loved, the more you will see how deeply your sisters and your brothers in the human family are loved.
They are the very route to solitude, hospitality, and prayer. In other words, only by embracing our shadows can be become fully integrated and authentic spiritual pilgrims. From Fear to Love: This is not to suggest, as Michael Christensen has pointed out, that Nouwen reduced the spiritual pilgrimage to static fluctuation or stagnant wavering, i.
Perhaps we touch here one of the most important crossroads of our religious development. The question is: Very often we fail. Very often religion has become identified with cleanliness, purity, the perfect life—and every feeling which seems to throw black spots on our white sheet seem to be antireligious. I have ugly thoughts but that does not make me ugly.
Repressing or suppressing the shadow occasions projection whereby we attribute to others the very darkness and ugliness we see, but prefer to ignore, in ourselves. We must accept the shadow, and thus also the polarity, as a way of moving toward individuation and self-realization. Nouwen also talks about love in its taking and giving forms.
In the painful and fearful recognition that evil cannot be reversed or forgiven, power seeks control and determines that something must be uprooted, burned, destroyed.
Tenderness and sympathy are seen as weaknesses, and love is judged impossible. Darkness into light, enslavement into freedom, death into life, taking into giving, destruction into creation and hate into love.
Instead of the vocation being an opportunity to enter into mutually open and loving relationships, it may become simply a way of seeking approval from others. From Sorrow to Joy: Recognize the Dark Clouds Nouwen recognizes that the goal in gloomy situations is not to dispel darkness.
Sorrow and pain must be kept away at all cost because they are the opposites of the gladness and happiness we desire. The vision offered by Jesus stands in sharp contrast to this worldly vision. Jesus shows. Here a completely new way of living is revealed. The spiritual task is not to escape your loneliness, not to let yourself drown it, but to find its source.
This is not easy to do, but when you can somehow identify the place from which these feelings emerge, they will lose of their power over you. If you do, you will easily be pulled even further away from your center. You will damage yourself and make it more difficult to come home again. It is obviously good not to act on your sudden emotions. You can acknowledge them and let them pass by. In a certain sense, you have to befriend them so that you do not become their victim.
They will be here a long time, and they will go on tempting you to be drowned in them. There is a hardly a day without some dark clouds drifting by. But today I recognize them for what they are without putting my head in them.
I learned to catch the darkness early, not to allow sadness to grow into depression. From Denying to Befriending Death: Integrate the Dark Side of Our Story Jung did not believe in immortality, but he thought the idea of immortality was a helpful way to process the reality of death. We should, therefore, if we are terminally ill, look forward to the next day, as if we were to live on forever.
Jung writes: It is normal to think about immortality, and abnormal not to do so or not to bother about it. Immortality cannot be proved any more than can the existence of God, either philosophically or empirically. We can easily imagine that long before there was any philosophy human beings had instinctively found out what ideas were necessary for the normal functioning of the psyche. Only a rather stupid mind will try to go beyond that, and to venture an opinion on whether immortality does or does not exist.
This question cannot be asked for the simple reason that it cannot be discussed. More important, it misses the essential point, which is the functional value of the idea as such. If we look forward to tomorrow, we need not fear what might happen today. In the monograph he wrote to his father a year after his mother passed away, Nouwen writes: I think, then, that our first task is to befriend death. He made it convincingly clear that in order to become full human being, we have to claim the totality of our experience; we come to maturity by integrating not only the light but also the dark side of our story into our selfhood.
Whereas Jung was convinced about the psychological value of immortality, he was ambivalent about the reality of immortality. Nouwen, on the other hand, writes, The same love that reveals the absurdity of death also allows us to befriend death. Without faith, this must sound like a contradiction. But our faith in him whose love overcame death and who rose from the grave on the third day converts this contradiction into a paradox, the most healing paradox of our existence.
From Wounded to Healer: Bring Dark Powers to Light In his autobiography, Jung suggests that therapists should have therapists: I always advise analysts: I have a deep sense, hard to articulate, that if we could really befriend death we would be free people. When Jung asked the man to tell him his dreams, the man denied that he had dreams or alleged that he would forget them.
One day the man told Jung of a dream he had in which he wandered into a medieval building and entered a large room where, seated in the middle, was a mentally disabled child of two years old sitting on a chamber pot, smeared with feces.
The man awoke with a cry, in a state of panic, and Jung diagnosed him with latent psychosis. The next day Jung discovered that the man had committed suicide. As a doctor I constantly have to ask myself what kind of message the patient in bringing me. What does he mean to me? If he means nothing, I have no point of attack.
The doctor is effective only when he himself is affected. I take my patients seriously. Perhaps I am confronted with a problem just as much as they are. Wounded Healer of the Soul: An Illustrated Biography Rather he deepens the pain to a level where it can be shared.
Specifically, Nouwen is indebted to Jung for resisting the language of stages of faith, for instance, and for insisting on the necessity of integrating the shadow, the dark experiences of our lives. This recognition, that Jung was influential for Nouwen, contributes to a better understanding of Nouwen and helps situate his contributions on the map of twenty-first century pastoral psychology.
Paul mentions this issue frequently. In his letters, Paul alludes at several points to God choosing what is weak to shame the strong, to being weak in Christ, and says that when he is weak, then he is strong.
Within the discipline of community are the disciplines of forgiveness and celebration. Forgiveness and celebration are what make community, whether a marriage, a friendship, or any other form of community. What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is to allow the other person not to be God. Forgiveness says, "I know you love me, but you don't have to love me unconditionally, because no human being can do that. We all have wounds. We all are in so much pain. It's precisely this feeling of loneliness that lurks behind all our successes, that feeling of uselessness that hides under all the praise, that feeling of meaninglessness even when people say we are fantastic--that is what makes us sometimes grab onto people and expect from them an affection and love they cannot give.
If we want other people to give us something that only God can give, we become a demon. We say, "Love me! It's so important that we keep forgiving one another--not once in a while, but every moment of life.
Before you have had your breakfast, you have already had at least three opportunities to forgive people, because your mind is already wondering, What will they think about me? What will he or she do? How will they use me? To forgive other people for being able to give you only a little love--that's a hard discipline. To keep asking others for forgiveness because you can give only a little love--that's a hard discipline, too.
It hurts to say to your children, to your wife or your husband, to your friends, that you cannot give them all that you would like to give. Still, that is where community starts to be created, when we come together in a forgiving and undemanding way. This is where celebration, the second discipline of community, comes in.
If you can forgive that another person cannot give you what only God can give, then you can celebrate that person's gift. Then you can see the love that person is giving you as a reflection of God's great unconditional love.
We can celebrate that and say, "Wow, that's beautiful! In our community, Daybreak, we have to do a lot of forgiving. But right in the midst of forgiving comes a celebration: With forgiveness and celebration, community becomes the place where we call forth the gifts of other people, lift them up, and say, "You are the beloved daughter and the beloved son. To celebrate another person's gift doesn't mean giving each other little compliments--"You play the piano better"; "You are so good in singing.
To celebrate each other's gifts means to accept each other's humanity. We see each other as a person who can smile, say "Welcome," eat, and make a few steps. A person who in the eyes of others is broken suddenly is full of life, because you discover your own brokenness through them. Here is what I mean.
In this world, so many people live with the burden of self-rejection: I'm useless. People don't really care for me. If I didn't have money, they wouldn't talk to me. If I didn't have this big job, they wouldn't call me. If I didn't have this influence, they wouldn't love me.
In community comes that mutual vulnerability in which we forgive each other and celebrate each other's gifts. I have learned so much since coming to Daybreak. I've learned that my real gifts are not that I write books or that I went to universities.
My real gifts are discovered by Janet and Nathan and others who know me so well they cannot be impressed any more by this other stuff.
Once in a while they say, "I have good advice: Why don't you read some of your own books? There is healing in being known in my vulnerability and impatience and weakness.
Suddenly I realize that Henri is a good person also in the eyes of people who don't read books and who don't care about success. These people can forgive me constantly for the little egocentric gestures and behaviors that are always there. All the disciples of Jesus are called to ministry. Ministry is not, first of all, something that you do although it calls you to do many things. Ministry is something that you have to trust. If you know you are the beloved, and if you keep forgiving those with whom you form community and celebrate their gifts, you cannot do other than minister.
Jesus cured people not by doing all sorts of complicated things. A power went out from him, and everyone was cured. He didn't say, "Let me talk to you for ten minutes, and maybe I can do something about this.
He wanted one thing--to do the will of God. He was the completely obedient one, the one who was always listening to God. Out of this listening came an intimacy with God that radiated out to everyone Jesus saw and touched. Ministry means you have to trust that. You have to trust that if you are the son and daughter of God, power will go out from you and that people will be healed.
Walk on the snake. Call the dead to life. Yet Jesus said, "Whatever I do, you can do too and even greater things. Trust in that healing power. Trust that if you are living as the beloved you will heal people whether or not you notice it.
But you have to be faithful to that call. Healing happens often by leading people to gratitude, for the world is full of resentment. What is resentment?
Cold anger. I'm angry at this. This is not the way I want it. Resentment makes you cling to your failures or disappointments and complain about the losses in your life.
Our life is full of losses--losses of dreams and losses of friends and losses of family and losses of hopes. There is always the lurking danger we will respond to these incredible pains in resentment. Resentment gives us a hardened heart. Jesus calls us to gratitude.
He calls to us, "You foolish people. Didn't you know that the Son of Man--that you, that we--have to suffer and thus enter into the glory? Didn't you know that these pains were labor pains that lead you to the joy? Didn't you know that all we are experiencing as losses are gains in God's eyes? Those who lose their lives will gain it.
And if the grain doesn't die, it stays a small grain; but if it dies, then it will be fruitful. Can you be grateful for everything that has happened in your life--not just the good things but for all that brought you to today? It was the pain of a Son that created a family of people known as Christians. That's the mystery of God. Our ministry is to help people to gradually let go of the resentment, to discover that right in the middle of pain there is a blessing.
Right in the middle of your tears--that's where the dance starts and joy is first felt.
In this crazy world, there's an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy.
But in the eyes of God, they're never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom. Jesus says, "Cry over your pains, and you will discover that I'm right there in your tears, and you will be grateful for my presence in your weakness.
That gratitude can send you into the world precisely to the places where people are in pain. The minister, the disciple of Jesus, goes where there is pain not because he is a masochist or she is a sadist, but because God is hidden in the pain.
Blessed are the mourning. Blessed are those who have pain. There I am. Sometimes that pain is hidden in a person who from the outside might look painless or successful.
Compassion means to suffer with, to live with those who suffer.
When Jesus saw the woman of Nain he realized, This is a widow who has lost her only son, and he was moved by compassion. He felt the pain of that woman in his guts. He felt her pain so deeply in his spirit that out of compassion he called the son to life so he could give that son back to his mother. We are sent to wherever there is poverty, loneliness, and suffering to have the courage to be with people.
Trust that by throwing yourself into that place of pain you will find the joy of Jesus. All ministries in history are built on that vision. Though Henri 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 and created the definitive resource on spiritual discernment. This is the third book of a series. Spiritual Direction explores our core questions about the spiritual life as Nouwen acts as spiritual director, opening the door to personal transformation. In Spiritual Formation, Nouwen offers guidance on spiritual development—as dynamic movements from fear to love.
In this final book, Discernment, Nouwen teaches us how to read the signs of the times in daily life in order to make decisions that are ultimately guided by God.