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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quotes

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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen



Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”

Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Community is where humility and glory touch.”

Community is where humility and glory touch.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.”

Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”

The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Community means that people come together around the table, not just to feed their bodies, but to feed their minds and their relationships.”

Community means that people come together around the table, not just to feed their bodies, but to feed their minds and their relationships.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God.”

It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Prayer is first of all listening to God. It’s openness. God is always speaking; he’s always doing something.”

Prayer is first of all listening to God. It’s openness. God is always speaking; he’s always doing something.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Our life is full of brokenness – broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.”

Our life is full of brokenness – broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love.”

What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen



Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.”

In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved.”

Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self.”

Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”

A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Jesus invites us to abide in his love. That means to dwell with all that I am in him. It is an invitation to a total belonging, to full intimacy, to an unlimited being-with. The light of the Spirit reveals to us that love conquers all fear.”

Jesus invites us to abide in his love. That means to dwell with all that I am in him. It is an invitation to a total belonging, to full intimacy, to an unlimited being-with. The light of the Spirit reveals to us that love conquers all fear.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found.”

I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Active waiting means present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.”

Active waiting means present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?-are not questions with an answer but questions that open us up to new questions which lead us deeper into the unshakeable mystery of existence.”

Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?-are not questions with an answer but questions that open us up to new questions which lead us deeper into the unshakeable mystery of existence.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Christian community is the place where we keep the flame of hope alive among us and take it seriously so that it can grow and become stronger in us.”

Christian community is the place where we keep the flame of hope alive among us and take it seriously so that it can grow and become stronger in us.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “We are called to be fruitful – not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness.”

We are called to be fruitful – not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen



Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “God, help me to see others not as enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.”

God, help me to see others not as enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.”

You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another.”

Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Pay attention to the people God puts in your path if you want to discern what God is up to in your life.”

Pay attention to the people God puts in your path if you want to discern what God is up to in your life.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “True Hospitality is welcoming the stranger on her own terms. This kind of hospitality can only be offered by those who’ve found the center of their lives in their own hearts.”

True Hospitality is welcoming the stranger on her own terms. This kind of hospitality can only be offered by those who’ve found the center of their lives in their own hearts.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we learn to move through suffering, rather than avoid it, then we greet it differently. We become willing to let it teach us. We even begin to see how God can use it for some larger end.”

When we learn to move through suffering, rather than avoid it, then we greet it differently. We become willing to let it teach us. We even begin to see how God can use it for some larger end.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Spiritual maturity is not knowing what to do with your whole life, but just knowing what to do next.”

Spiritual maturity is not knowing what to do with your whole life, but just knowing what to do next.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Solitude is the place of purification and transformation, the place of the great struggle and the great encounter.”

Solitude is the place of purification and transformation, the place of the great struggle and the great encounter.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence.”

Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.”

In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Distance never separates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad because I miss you I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.”

Distance never separates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad because I miss you I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be.”

The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. LOVE is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”

Those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. LOVE is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.”

Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Prayer is the center of the Christian life. It is the only necessary thing. It is living with God in the here and now.”

Prayer is the center of the Christian life. It is the only necessary thing. It is living with God in the here and now.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.”

Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we give generously, with an abundance mentality, what we give away will multiply.”

When we give generously, with an abundance mentality, what we give away will multiply.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “It is God’s passionate pursuit of us that calls us to prayer.”

It is God’s passionate pursuit of us that calls us to prayer.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection.”

The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Waiting time is not wasting time. Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.”

Waiting time is not wasting time. Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.”

To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness.”

Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”

Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “In our own woundedness, we can become sources of life for others.”

In our own woundedness, we can become sources of life for others.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.”

When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Fundraising is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful and hope-filled expression of ministry. In ministering to each other, each from the riches that he or she possesses, we work together for the full coming of God’s Kingdom.”

Fundraising is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful and hope-filled expression of ministry. In ministering to each other, each from the riches that he or she possesses, we work together for the full coming of God’s Kingdom.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The best of community does give one a deep sense of belonging and well-being; and in that sense community takes away loneliness.”

The best of community does give one a deep sense of belonging and well-being; and in that sense community takes away loneliness.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “God doesn’t give us just enough. God gives us more than enough: more bread and fish than we can eat, more love than we dared to ask for.”

God doesn’t give us just enough. God gives us more than enough: more bread and fish than we can eat, more love than we dared to ask for.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.”

Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Peacemaking is a full-time vocation that includes each member of God’s people.”

Peacemaking is a full-time vocation that includes each member of God’s people.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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