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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quotes
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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Life is a gift to be grateful for and not a property to cling to.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “For me the university has always been an ideal context for spiritual formation. I always felt that if you want to offer spiritual formation at the university, you can.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I am beginning to experience that an unconditional, total love of God makes a very articulate, alert, and attentive love for the neighbor possible.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The first task of seeking guidance then is to touch your own struggles, doubts, and insecurities – in short, to affirm your life as a quest.8 Your life, my life, is given graciously by God. Our lives are not problems to be solved but journeys to be taken with Jesus as our friend and finest guide.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Have courage” therefore means “Let your center speak.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The Bible is primarily a book not of information but of formation, not merely a book to be analyzed, scrutinized, and discussed but a sacred book to nurture us, to unify our hearts and minds, and to serve as a constant source of contemplation.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “If you want to know anything about community, you have to realize that the contemplative side is essential. Community without retreating and quiet time never survives.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “God wants to bring joy not pain, peace not war, healing not suffering. Therefore, instead of declaring anything and everything to be the will of God, we must be willing to ask ourselves where in the midst of our pains and sufferings we can discern the loving presence of God.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Becoming a child is living toward a second innocence: not the innocence of the newborn infant, but the innocence that is reached through conscious choices.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “We often live as if our happiness depended on having. But I don’t know anyone who is really happy because of what he or she has. True joy, happiness, and inner peace come from the giving of ourselves to others. A happy life is a life for others. That truth, however, is usually discovered when we are confronted with our brokenness.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “For me, God is the one who calls me the Beloved, and I have a desire to express to others how I try to become more fully who I already am.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “As long as religious people are well dressed, well fed, and well cared for, words about being in solidarity with the poor will remain pious words more likely to evoke good feelings than creative actions. As long as we are doing well what others are doing better and more efficiently, we can hardly expect to be considered the salt of the earth or the light of the world. In short, as long as we avoid displacement, we will miss the compassionate life to which our Lord calls us.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Therefore every real revolutionary is challenged to be a mystic at heart, and he who walks the mystical way is called to unmask the illusory quality of human society.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “God is the hub of the wheel of life. The closer we come to God the closer we come to each other. The basis of community is not primarily our ideas, feelings, and emotions about each other but our common search for God. When we keep our minds and hearts directed toward God, we will come more fully “together.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The main problem of service is to be the way without being “in the way.” And if there are any tools, techniques and skills to be learned they are primarily to plow the field, to cut the weeds and to clip the branches, that is, to take away the obstacles for real growth and development.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. 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 Quote: “Isn’t it important for your friends close by and far away to know the high cost of these insights? Wouldn’t they find it a source of consolation to see that light and darkness, hope and despair, love and fear are never very far from each other, and that spiritual freedom often requires a fierce spiritual battle?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “People who read your ideas tend to think that your writings reflect your life.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “People we meet, some great in the eyes of the world and some almost invisible to the larger society, are often conduits of God’s wisdom.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Prayer is the beginning and the end, the source and the fruit, the core and the content, the basis and the goal of all peacemaking.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I now see that the hands that forgive, console, heal, and offer a festive meal must become my own.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “If God is compassionate, then certainly those who love God should be compassionate as well.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “A friend is more than a therapist or confessor, even though a friend can sometimes heal us and offer us God’s forgiveness. A friend is that other person with whom we can share our solitude, our silence, and our prayer. A friend is that other person with whom we can look at a tree and say, “Isn’t that beautiful,” or sit on the beach and silently watch the sun disappear under the horizon. With a friend we don’t have to say or do something special. With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “You can only seek God when you have already found God. The desire for God’s unconditional love is the fruit of having been touched by that love.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Thus the authority of compassion is the possibility of man to forgive his brother, because forgiveness is only real for him who has discovered the.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Today worrying means to be occupied and preoccupied with many things, while at the same time being bored, resentful, depressed, and very lonely.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Your true identity is as a child of God. This is the identity you have to accept. Once you have claimed it and settled in it, you can live in a world that gives you much joy as well as pain. You can receive the praise as well as the blame that comes to you as an opportunity for strengthening your basic identity, because the identity that makes you free is anchored beyond all human praise and blame. You belong to God, and it is as a child of God that you are sent into the world.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Through compassion it is possible to recognize that the craving for love that people feel resides also in our own hearts, that the cruelty the world knows all too well is also rooted in our own impulses. Through compassion we also sense our hope for forgiveness in our friends’ eyes and our hatred in their bitter mouths. When they kill, we know that we could have done it; when they give life, we know that we can do the same. For a compassionate person nothing human is alien: no joy and no sorrow, no way of living and no way of dying.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we face death with hope, we can live life with generosity.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “We will never believe that we have anything to give unless there is someone who is able to receive.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we are alone with God, the Spirit prays in us. The challenge is to develop a simple discipline or spiritual practice to embrace some empty time and empty space every day.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “By inviting God into our difficulties we ground life – even its sad moments – in joy and hope. When we stop grasping our lives we can finally be given more than we could ever grab for ourselves. And we learn the way to a deeper love for others.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “With a friend we don’t have to say or do something special. With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When the younger son was no longer considered a human being by the people around him, he felt the profundity of his isolation, the deepest loneliness one can experience. He was truly lost, and it was this complete lostness that brought him to his senses.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “A large part of the father’s life had been spent waiting. He could not force his younger son to come home or his older son to let go of his resentments. Only they themselves could take the initiative to return.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Thus, our brokenness can become a gateway to new life.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Love is not based on the willingness to listen, to understand problems of others, or to tolerate their otherness. Love is based on the mutuality of the confession of our total self to each other.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I am convinced that healing is often so difficult because we don’t want to know the pain.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The parable that Rembrandt painted might well be called “The Parable of the Lost Sons.” Not only did the younger son, who left home to look for freedom and happiness in a distant country, get lost, but the one who stayed home also became a lost man. Exteriorly he did all the things a good son is supposed to do, but, interiorly, he wandered away from his father. He did his duty, worked hard every day, and fulfilled all his obligations but became increasingly unhappy and unfree.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “We all are children and parents, students and teachers, healers and in need of care.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When I look through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “However, if I were to let my life be taken over by what is urgent, I might very well never get around to what is essential. It’s so easy to spend your whole time being preoccupied with urgent matters and never starting to live, really live.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “If the urge to be entertained so much, to travel so much, to buy so much, and to arm ourselves so much no longer motivated our behavior, could our society as it is today still function?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The measure of your solitude is the measure of your capacity for communion.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we worry, we have our hearts in the wrong place.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “But human withdrawal is a very painful and lonely process, because it forces us to face directly our own condition in all its beauty as well as misery.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to a fertile soil for more joy.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Rembrandt portrays the father as the man who has transcended the ways of his children. His own loneliness and anger may have been there, but they have been transformed by suffering and tears. His loneliness has become endless solitude, his anger boundless gratitude. This is who I have to become. I see it as clearly as I see the immense beauty of the father’s emptiness and compassion. Can I let the younger and the elder son grow in me to the maturity of the compassionate father?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Christ invites us to remain in touch with the many sufferings of every day and to taste the beginning of hope and new life right there, where we live amid our hurts and pains and brokenness.”
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