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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quotes
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Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Am I afraid to die? I am every time I let myself be seduced by the noisy voices of my world telling me that my “little life” is all I have and advising me to cling to it with all my might. But when I let these voices move to the background of my life and listen to that small soft voice calling me the Beloved, I know that there is nothing to fear and that dying is the greatest act of love, the act that leads me into the eternal embrace of my God whose love is everlasting.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “When we face death with hope, we can live life with generosity.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Our individual as well as communal lives are so deeply molded by our worries about tomorrow that today hardly can be experienced.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “God does not love the younger son more than the elder. In the story the father goes out to the elder son just as he did to the younger, urges him to come in, and says, “My son, you are with me always, and all I have is yours.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “There are two extremes to avoid: being completely absorbed in your pain and being distracted by so many things that you stay far away from the wound you want to heal.”
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: “Doctors, lawyers, and psychologists study to become qualified professionals who are paid to know what to do. A well-trained theologian or minister is only able to point out the universal tendency to narrow God down to our own little conceptions and expectations, and to call for an open mind and heart for God to be revealed.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Drinking our cup is not simply adapting ourselves to a bad situation and trying to use it as well as we can. Drinking our cup is a hopeful, courageous, and self-confident way of living. It is standing in the world with head erect, solidly rooted in the knowledge of who we are, facing the reality that surrounds us and responding to it from our hearts.”
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: “Jesus, the Son of God, is the man of sorrows, but also the man of complete joy.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “There is within you a lamb and a lion. Spiritual maturity is the ability to let lamb and lion lie down together.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “There are many elder sons and elder daughters who are lost while still at home.”
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: “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: “Where does my complete flowering as a human being connect with the needs of the world?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “They discover that there are people who heal each other’s wounds, forgive each other’s offenses, share their possessions, foster the spirit of community, celebrate the gifts they have received, and live in constant anticipation of the full manifestation of God’s glory.”
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. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness. They point each other to flashes of light here and there, and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real presence of God.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The more we come to depend on the images offered to us by those who try to distract us, entertain us, use us for their purposes, and make us conform to the demands of a consumer society, the easier it is for us to lose our identity.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Your way of being present to your community may require times of absence, prayer, writing, or solitude. These too are times for your community.”
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: “Prayer, which is breathing with the Spirit of Jesus, leads us to this immense knowledge.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “We probably will never be free from all our hostilities, and there even may be days and weeks in which our hostile feelings dominate our emotional life to such a degree that the best thing we can do is to keep distance, speak little to others and not write letters, except to ourselves.”
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: “Our clinging to the opinions of others reveals how superficial we are. We have little to stand on. We have to be kept alive by adulation and praise. Those who are deeply rooted in the love of God can enjoy human praise without being attached to it.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Christian leaders are called to help others affirm this great news, and to make visible in daily events the fact that behind the dirty curtain of our painful symptoms there is something great to be seen: the face of God in whose image we are shaped.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Prayer for others, therefore, cannot be seen as an extraordinary exercise that must be practiced from time to time. Rather, it is the very beat of the compassionate heart.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Often love is offered to you, but you do not recognize it. You discard it because you are fixed on receiving it from the same person to whom you gave it.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch out our hands and be led into places where we would rather not go.”
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: “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: “We are called to witness, always with our lives and sometimes with our words, to the great things God has done for us.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Action with and for those who suffer is the concrete expression of the compassionate life and the final criterion of being a Christian.”
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: “The measure of your solitude is the measure of your capacity for communion.”
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: “Drinking the cup of life is fully appropriating and internalizing our own unique existence, with all its sorrows and joys. It is not easy to do this. For a long time we might not feel capable of accepting our own life; we might keep fighting for a better or at least a different life.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “I asked him how he had been able to take such a splendid picture. With a smile he said, “Well, I had only to be very patient and very attentive. It was only after a few hours of compliments that the lily was willing to let me take her picture.”
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: “Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Compassion is born when we discover in the center of our own existence not only that God is God and man is man, but also that our neighbor is really our fellow man.”
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: “I am constantly surprised at how I keep taking the gifts God has given me – my health, my intellectual and emotional gifts – and keep using them to impress people, receive affirmation and praise, and compete for rewards, instead of developing them for the glory of God.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Trust in God allows us to live with active expectation, not cynicism.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Active waiting is essential to the spiritual life.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “Christian leadership is a dead-end street when nothing new is expected, when everything sounds familiar and when ministry has regressed to the level of routine.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen Quote: “The great movement of the spiritual life is from a deaf, nonhearing life to a life of listening.”
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