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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quotes
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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The leaders of the future will be those who dare to claim their irrelevance in the contemporary world as a divine vocation that allows them to enter into a deep solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter of success, and to bring the light of Jesus there.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “To care for others requires an ever-increasing acceptance.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When you can look into the face of another human being and you have enough light in you to recognize your brother or you sister. Until then it is night, and darkness is still with us.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “God should be sought, but we cannot find God. We can only be found by him.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Our inclination is to show our Lord only what we feel comfortable with. But the more we dare to reveal our whole trembling self to him, the more we will be able to sense that his love, which is perfect love, casts out all our fears.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When love chooses, it chooses with a perfect sensitivity for the unique beauty of the chosen one, and it chooses without making anyone else feel excluded.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Unlike a fairy tale, the parable provides no happy ending. Instead, it leaves us face to face with one of life’s hardest spiritual choices: to trust or not to trust in God’s all-forgiving love.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Many consumerist economies stay afloat by manipulating the low self-esteem of their consumers and by creating spiritual expectations through material means.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The main question is “Do you own your pain?” As long as you do not own your pain – that is, integrate your pain into your way of being in the world – the danger exists that you will use the other to seek healing for yourself. When you speak to others about your pain without fully owning it, you expect something from them that they cannot give. As a result, you will feel frustrated, and those you wanted to help will feel confused, disappointed, or even further burdened.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Who can listen to a story of loneliness and despair without taking the risk of experiencing similar pains in his own heart and even losing his precious peace of mind? In short: “Who can take away suffering without entering it?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Life in the Spirit of Jesus is therefore a life in which Jesus’ coming into the world – his incarnation, his death, and resurrection – is lived out by those who have entered into the same obedient relationship to the Father which marked Jesus’ own life. Having become sons and daughters as Jesus was Son, our lives become a continuation of Jesus’ mission.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Without trust, I cannot let myself be found. Trust is that deep inner conviction that the Father wants me home. As long as I doubt that I am worth finding and put myself down as less loved than my younger brothers and sisters, I cannot be found. I have to keep saying to myself, “God is looking for you. He will go anywhere to find you. He loves you, he wants you home, he cannot rest unless he has you with him.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we are spiritually deaf, we are not aware that anything important is happening in our lives. We keep running away from the present moment, and we try to create experiences that make our lives worthwhile. So we fill up our time to avoid the emptiness we otherwise would feel.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When I could no longer cling to my normal supports I discovered that true support and real safety lie far beyond the structures of our world.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The man who can articulate the movements of his inner life need no longer be a victim of himself, but is able slowly and consistently to remove the obstacles that prevent the spirit from entering.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Ministry is a very confronting service. It does not allow people to live with illusions of immortality and wholeness. It keeps reminding others that they are mortal and broken, but also that with the recognition of this condition, liberation starts.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Spiritual greatness has nothing to do with being greater than others. It has everything to do with being as great as each of us can be. True sanctity is precisely drinking our own cup and trusting that by thus fully claiming our own, irreplaceable journey, we can become a source of hope for many.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Jesus does not speak about a change of activities, a change in contacts, or even a change of pace. He speaks about a change of heart.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I have always felt that if I am very personal and connected with what I myself am living, my writing will transcend ecclesial boundaries.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God’s love. The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God’s Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Here is the God I want to believe in: a Father who, from the beginning of creation, has stretched out his arms in merciful blessing, never forcing himself on anyone, but always waiting; never letting his arms drop down in despair, but always hoping that his children will return so that he can speak words of love to them and let his tired arms rest on their shoulders. His only desire is to bless.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I am very grateful that I am in touch with so many different church groups. I am always very moved by the fact that so many people – practically over the spectrum of the Christian world – are responding to my writing.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The elder brother compares himself with the younger one and becomes jealous. But the father loves them both so much that it didn’t even occur to him to delay the party in order to prevent the elder son from feeling rejected. I am convinced that many of my emotional problems would melt as snow in the sun if I could let the truth of God’s motherly non-comparing love permeate my heart.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “We must ask ourselves how many times others would benefit more from our silence than from our words.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Jesus’ whole life and mission involve accepting powerlessness and revealing in this powerlessness the limitlessness of God’s love.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Your life is not going to be easy, and it should not be easy. It ought to be hard. It ought to be radical; it ought to be restless; it ought to lead you to places you’d rather not go.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “To be a minister means above all to become powerless, or in more precise terms, to speak with our powerlessness to the condition of powerlessness which is so keenly felt but so seldom expressed by the people of our age.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Grateful people learn to celebrate even amid life’s hard and harrowing memories because they know that pruning is no mere punishment, but preparation.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Both trust and gratitude require the courage to take risks because distrust and resentment, in their need to keep their claim on me, keep warning me how dangerous it is to let go of my careful calculations and guarded predictions.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “As long as we have our stories there is hope.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Because where God wants you to be, God holds you safe and gives you peace, even when there is pain.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “You feel overwhelmed by distractions, fantasies, the disturbing desire to throw yourself into the world of pleasure. But you know already that you will not find there an answer to your deepest question. Nor does the answer lie in rehashing old events, or in guilt or shame. All of that makes you dissipate yourself and leave the rock on which your house is built.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “A good host is the one who believes that his guest is carrying a promise he wants to reveal to anyone who shows genuine interest.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “As the Father, I have to dare to carry the responsibility of a spiritually adult person and dare to trust that the real joy and real fulfillment can only come from welcoming home those who have been hurt and wounded on their life’s journey, and loving them with a love that neither asks nor expects anything in return.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When God looks at our world, God must weep. God must weep because the lust for power has entrapped and corrupted the human spirit. In the news and even in our families and ourselves we see that instead of gratitude there is resentment, instead of forgiveness there is revenge, instead of healing there is wounding, instead of compassion there is competition, instead of cooperation there is violence, and instead of love there is immense fear.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Those who do not run away from our pains but touch them with compassion bring healing and new strength. The paradox indeed is that the beginning of healing is in the solidarity with the pain. In.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Community thus is obedience practiced together. The question is not simply, “Where does God lead me as an individual person who tries to do his will?” More basic and more significant is the question, “Where does God lead us as a people?” This.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Every time you close another door – be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection – you commit yourself to go deeper into your heart and thus deeper into the heart of God.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Our God is a God who cares, heals, guides, directs, challenges, confronts, corrects. To discern means first of all to listen to God, to pay attention to God’s active presence, and to obey God’s prompting, direction, leadings, and guidance.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I have found over and over again how hard it is to be truly faithful to Jesus when I am alone.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The paradox of prayer is that it asks for a serious effort while it can only be received as a gift. We cannot plan, organize or manipulate God; but without a careful discipline, we cannot receive him either.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Solitude, community, and ministry are certainly not just for celibates! Celibates also have a hard time keeping up.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it. What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Every time you do something that comes from your needs for acceptance, affirmation, or affection, and every time you do something that makes these needs grow, you know that you are not with God. These needs will never be satisfied; they will only increase when you yield to them.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “It is not that the university as such is against spiritual formation. It is just that often the university does not know how to integrate spiritual formation within its academic disciplines.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Jesus goes up onto the mountain, gathers his disciples around him, and says: “How blessed are the poor, the gentle, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for uprightness, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness.” These words present a portrait of the child of God. It is a self-portrait of Jesus, the Beloved Son.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Obviously a child can never conceive solitude if his parents aren’t living it somewhere themselves. I don’t mean that to be alone you have to get down on your knees for an hour in a yoga posture.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Your unique presence in your community is the way God wants you to be present to others. Different people have different ways of being present. You have to know and claim your way. That is why discernment is so important. Once you have an inner knowledge of your true vocation, you have a point of orientation. That will help you decide what to do and what to let go of, what to say and what to remain silent about, when to go out and when to stay home, who to be with and who to avoid.”
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