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Top 450 Henri J.M. Nouwen Quotes (2022 Update)
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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The evangelical movement has become just a bit victimized by a success-oriented culture, wanting the church – like the corporation – to be successful.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “To become like the Father whose only authority is compassion, I have to shed countless tears and so prepare my heart to receive anyone, whatever their journey has been, and forgive them from that heart.”
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.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we have sold our identity to the judges of this world, we are bound to become restless, because of a growing need for affirmation and praise.”
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: “To care for others requires an ever-increasing acceptance.”
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: “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: “Do not tell everyone your story. You will only end up feeling more rejected. People cannot give you what you long for in your heart. The more you expect from people’s response to your experience of abandonment, the more you will feel exposed to ridicule. You have to close yourself to the outside world so you can enter your own heart and the heart of God through your pain. God will send to you the people with whom you can share your anguish, who can lead you closer to the true source of love.”
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: “Often we come home from a sharing session with a feeling that something precious has been taken away from us or that holy ground has been trodden upon.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Not being welcome is your greatest fear. It connects with your birth fear, your fear of not being welcome in this life, and your death fear, your fear of not being welcome in the life after this. It is the deep-seated fear that it would have been better if you had not lived.”
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: “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: “The world is evil only when you become its slave. The world has a lot to offer – just as Egypt did for the children of Jacob – as long as you don’t feel bound to obey it. The great struggle facing you is not to leave the world, to reject your ambitions and aspirations, or to despise money, prestige, or success, but to claim your spiritual truth and to live in the world as someone who doesn’t belong to it.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we see ourselves in a relationship of love with God, there is always something of a lover’s dilemma, a struggle to give and receive, to trust and obey the call.”
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: “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: “The more we become sensitive to our own journey the more we realize that we are leaving and coming back every day, every hour. Our minds wander away but eventually return; our hearts leave in search of affection and return sometimes broken; our bodies get carried away in their desires then sooner or later return. It’s never one dramatic life moment but a constant series of departures and returns.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “You have to acknowledge where you are and affirm that place. You have to be willing to live your loneliness, your incompleteness, your lack of total incarnation fearlessly, and trust that God will give you the people to keep showing you the truth of who you are.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The joy at the dramatic return of the younger son in no way means that the elder son was less loved, less appreciated, less favored. The father does not compare the two sons. He loves them both with a complete love and expresses that love according to their individual journeys.”
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: “But in Solitude, we can pay attention to our inner self.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The mystery of one man is too immense and too profound to be explained by another man.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “If I have learned anything this week, it is that there is a contemplative way of working that is more important for me than praying, reading, or singing. Most people think that you go to the monastery to pray. Well, I prayed more this week than before but also discovered that I have not learned yet to make the work of my hands into a prayer.”
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: “Still, as long as you keep pointing to the specifics, you will miss the full meaning of your pain. You will deceive yourself into believing that if the people, circumstances, and events had been different, your pain would not exist. This might be partly true, but.”
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: “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: “It is very hard to stay in touch with our true identity because those who want our money, our time, and our energy profit more from our insecurity and fears than from our inner freedom.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “We seem to have a fear of empty spaces. The philosopher Spinoza called this a horror vacui. We want to fill up what is empty. Our lives stay very full. And when we are not blinded by busyness, we fill our inner space with guilt about things of the past or worries about things to come.”
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: “Radical servanthood challenges us, while attempting persistently to overcome poverty, hunger, illness, and any other form of human misery, to reveal the gentle presence of our compassionate God in the midst of our broken world.”
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: “Jesus’ whole life and mission involve accepting powerlessness and revealing in this powerlessness the limitlessness of God’s love.”
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: “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: “What I do know with unwavering certainty is the heart of the father. It is a heart of limitless mercy.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “People who pray stand receptive before the world. They no longer grab but caress, they no longer bite but kiss, they no longer examine but admire.”
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: “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: “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: “Friendship and love cannot develop in the form of an anxious clinging to each other.”
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: “We might be competent in many subjects, but we cannot become an expert in the things of God. God is greater than our minds and cannot be caught within the boundaries of our finite concepts. Thus, spiritual formation leads not to a proud understanding of divinity, but to docta ignorantia, an “articulate not-knowing.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “God looks at his people as children of a family who are happy that those who have done only a little bit are as much loved as those who accomplish much.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Building a vocation on the expectations of concrete results, however conceived, is like building a house on sand instead of on solid rock, and even takes away the ability to accept successes as free gifts.”
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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