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Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World Paperback – October 1, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 208 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A beautiful and sensitive book that reaches out to the believer. --Church and Synagogue Library Association

Anyone who is searching for the Spirit of God in the world today will benefit from reading it. --Horizons

For those unfamiliar with his work, this volume is a wonderful place to begin. Another significant achievement. --Circuit Rider

Anyone who is searching for the Spirit of God in the world today will benefit from reading it. --Horizons

For those unfamiliar with his work, this volume is a wonderful place to begin. Another significant achievement. --Circuit Rider --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Publisher

Over 200,000 copies in print! When Nouwen was asked by a secular Jewish friend to explain his faith in simple language, he responded with his greatest legacy, Life of the Beloved, which shows that all people, believers and nonbelievers, are beloved by God unconditionally.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company; 10 Anv edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824519868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824519865
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Life of the Beloved is among the final books published by Nouwen, and in that way is kind of a culmination of much of his life and thought and is thought by many to be his "flagship" work. Truly, it doesn't get much better than this. Reading this book as a Christian can be a mind and, hence, life altering experience. It was written to some of Henri's non-Christian friends about how much God loves them (which is certainly true!). And from the way Henri's life consistently pointed towards Jesus and the Gospel, I am sure that his friendship, love, and words to them in conversation were used by God for the good of the hearers. On that note, I would caution using this book alone as something to give to your non-Christian friends; because as Henri used it, it is best backed up by your life, love for your friends, and pointing them towards Jesus in your day to day life, and not as a gift without a relationship.
The book is clear, and ultra-concise (you could probably read it in a day or two); yet, the message, of how to live as the Beloved of God amidst a world where there are lies about your identity at every turn, could not be more fundamental to how a Christian lives their life. I wholeheartedly recommend and in fact strongly encourage all Christians to read this book.
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By A Customer on January 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There is so much in our every day lives that tries to make us believe that we are no good; we do not count; we don't measure up. Many of us have begun to learn those messages as a small child. Henri Nouwen has a way of letting you know that you do matter and are precious in God's sight. In spite of the fact that I have studied theology, I found that when stressed, a feeling of emptiness often overcame me that I could not explain. I knew that God loved me. I knew that God loves everyone. However, that knowledge was in my head. At a continuing education event, a new friend gave me a copy of this book, urging me to "read it soon". The knowledge that I was loved beyond my wildest imagination sank from my head into the rest of me. I felt joy and love like I had never known before. A silly feeling that I wasn't entitled to all that love was quickly dispelled by the knowledge that God has more love for each of us than we can imagine - even when we become overwhelmed and feel "like bottomless pits of human need". What a liberating word of joy that continues to fill my very being. Read it! You'll be glad you did!
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Format: Paperback
During a time of personal uncertainty, emptiness and sadness, the mere title of this book moved something inside of me; enough to purchase it with the strong intent of reading it, later that evening. Needless to say, I tried several times, but never felt in the mood, although, I knew it would be a good read.
Six months later, experiencing the same feelings, I took a trip to visit some terminally ill, elder family members and carried this book, as part of my reading.
Well!! A good read doesn't begin to describe this book!! It is powerful, enjoyable, moving, easy to read, entertaining, thought provoking, emotional, educational, nurturing and full of love. WOW! All that packed into 119 pages! It is simply written, as though, the author was conversing with me and yet, in other parts, I could hear the Voice of God telling me very simply, that I was BELOVED, a child of His. The power of this book is so Amazing!! As, I write these words, I have an intense feeling of being loved, emotional stirrings in the bottom of my gut and goosebumps on my arms. I am more in touch with God in my daily life, His loving and tender Presence and Voice everywhere, in everything. This book has changed my prior feelings of emptiness, sadness and uncertainty to a more joyful, simple, thankful, childlike approach to living, a sense of peace within myself, a clarity and certainty of my path in life and a powerful, moving love for God in my moment to moment living. Is my life 100 % perfect? Yes, and No, but as I work with God towards that moment of Utopia; I am thankful, centered and at peace in the knowledge that I am BELOVED, safe in God's Love for me and that everything will unfold, exactly as it is meant to be for me, with my prayer,love,faith and willingness to see God's message for me.
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Format: Hardcover
Henri Nouwen's Life of the Beloved provides the reader with a look at how we are all blessed, broken, and given in the Name of the Lord. He originally wrote the book for a friend who asked him about God and spirituality. Nouwen provides the reader with an insight into how God's choosing each one of us as His beloved does not necessarily mean anyone is excluded, a paradox which our society fails to understand and thus rejects. A very insightful book, that is very imporant to me in my journey of faith. Nouwen was a Catholic priest, and I recommend his works to all, especially Catholics.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for someone who has never read Nouwen's writings. The book carries a great message of hope; that God, who created us in his image and likeness, calls us to live our lives with the knowledge that we are His "beloved" children and that He is always calling us to a deeper love and intimacy with Him.
In response to negative reviews of this book because it doesn't beat you over the head with purely Christian messages, there is much to be said for Nouwen's reaching out to people of all faiths and gently leading them to think about what God's will is for their lives, and how they are called to live - in love and in loving others. Isn't that Jesus' ultimate message to all of us?
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