Category Archives: Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Advent Reflection

A friend of mine, JR Woodward, loves the writing of Henri Nouwen as much as I do. Today this appeared on his blog and serves as a word of encouragement for us. “I keep expecting loud and impressive events to convince me and others of God’s saving power…Our temptation is to be distracted by them…When...

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Returning to God’s Ever-Present Love

“We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior. God doesn’t approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s...

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Happy New Year – Do you know you are Beloved?

I would like to extend a very Happy New Year to the readers of Toward Hope and I would also like to pose a question for you. Do you know that you are beloved? No, really…do you know this in a deep way? Do you know that you are loved beyond measure by the one...

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Active Waiting

Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for. We wait during Advent for the birth of Jesus. We wait after Easter for the coming of...

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Nouwen – Remaining Faithful

“Many people live with the unconscious or conscious expectation that eventually things will get better; wars, hunger, poverty, oppression, and exploitation will vanish; and all people will live in harmony. Their lives and work are motivated by that expectation. When this does not happen in their lifetimes, they are often disillusioned and experience themselves as...

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On the Journey Towards Being Vulnerable

The following is a weekly reflection sent by the Henri Nouwen Society to my email. In addition to daily quotes from Nouwen’s work, Bread for the Journey, (see my posts here) members of the Nouwen Society contribute to weekly reflections (Subscribe). This week, Steve Imbach’s contribution is a valuable one for those willing to engage...

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Crossing the Road for One Another

“We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims...

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Who is My Neighbour?

“Love your neighbour as yourself” the Gospel says (Matthew 22:38). But who is my neighbor? We often respond to that question by saying: “My neighbours are all the people I am living with on this earth, especially the sick, the hungry, the dying, and all who are in need.” But this is not what Jesus...

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Recognizing Christ in Suffering Communities

"Communities as well as individuals suffer. All over the world there are large groups of people who are persecuted, mistreated, abused, and made victims of horrendous crimes. There are suffering families, suffering circles of friends, suffering religious communities, suffering ethnic groups, and suffering nations. In these suffering bodies of people we must be able to...

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Words That Create Community

"The word is always a word for others. Words need to be heard. When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to. A speaker needs a listener. A writer needs a reader. When the flesh – the lived human experience – becomes word, community can develop....

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Church Retreat

This weekend our Church is off on its yearly retreat in Hope. It is a memorable time of community, worship, teaching, and especially friendship. It is a time to reconnect with people from our other four congregations that we rarely see. It’s a time to gather as a community and remember God among us. This...

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Jesus Is Merciful

“Jesus, the Blessed Child of God, is merciful. Showing mercy is different from having pity. Pity connotes distance, even looking down upon. When a beggar asks for money and you give him something out of pity, you are not showing mercy. Mercy comes from a compassionate heart; it comes from a desire to be an...

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A holistic spirituality…

"Why do people think the spiritual life demands withdrawal from the ordinary? Because they’ve been taught, at least by implication, that the physical is a block to the spiritual. When we assume that the spiritual, unlike the physical, is impervious to corrosion, then we assume that all things material are not to be honored. But...

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Jesus is Poor

"Jesus, the Blessed One, is poor. The poverty of Jesus is much more than an economic or social poverty. Jesus is poor because he freely chose powerlessness over power, vulnerability over defensiveness, dependency over self-sufficiency. As the great "Song of Christ" so beautifully expresses: "He … did not count equality with God something to be...

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Nouwen Series on the Cup of Life

I just posted a short, four part series on the Cup of Life by Henri Nouwen. Please read them in the following order to benefit from the continuity and stream of thought. The Cup of Life Holding the Cup Lifting the Cup Drinking the Cup May the thoughts of Nouwen stir in you a vivid...

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