Henri J. M. Nouwen

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

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

“Solitude begins with a time and a place for God, and God alone. If we really believe not only that God exists but also that God is actively present in our lives– healing, teaching and guiding– we need to set aside a time and space to give God our undivided attention.”

“Although we tend to think about saints as holy and pious, and picture them with halos above their heads and ecstatic gazes, true saints are much more accessible. They are men and women like us, who live ordinary lives and struggle with ordinary problems. What makes them saints is their clear and unwavering focus on God and God’s people.”

Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen (1932 – 1996) was a Dutch Catholic priest professor and writer who authored 40 books on the spiritual life. The Wounded Healer, Clowning in Rome, The Inner Voice of Love and The Way of the Heart are just a few of his more widely recognized titles. A friend of Jean Vanier he visited L’Arche in France, the first of over 130 communities around the world where people with developmental disabilities live and share life together with those who care for them. He spent the last 11 years of his life in the L’Arche communities in Trosly-Breuil, France, and Toronto, Canada.


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