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The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom Paperback – January 19, 1999
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The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom is a collection of passages from Henri Nouwen's journals, written during a period when his self-esteem evaporated, his energy to work disappeared, and God seemed entirely unreal. This is not a book to be read straight through: each short chapter takes time to digest, because, like the following passage, each of Nouwen's thoughts has the raw complexity of real honesty:
Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body's deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body's superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity.--Michael Joseph Gross
From the Author
There are many Henri Nouwen books. For all those who ask, "Where should I start?" the answer is here. For all those who wonder, who wander, who hurt and who need, this book is an answer, a guide, a helper and friend.
You will find bits of this book pasted in anthologies and here and there and everywhere. Never mind those. The Inner Voice of Love is classic Nouwen. This is Nouwen at the apex of his writing talent. You must read the whole. Let it touch you. Let it heal you. Keep it at your bedside. Own it and let these marvelous words begin to own you.
-- The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust
Top customer reviews
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He frames truth and pain in uncommon ways. It shows that he has thought deeply about his struggles, both with God and man. If you have travelled a season of spiritual anguish, then you will identify with Nouwen. His thoughts will give you hope and courage to continue the journey. It can be read in one day, but should be read a chapter a day. After this, I highly recommend you read his book "Reaching Out".
Michele Cushatt, Author recommended a book several months ago and I bought it. I'd never heard of Henri Nouwen up to that point.
It's taken me almost 3 months to get through this book. It has wrecked me emotionally and spiritually in good ways.
It's opened my eyes to toxic thoughts and emotions I've believed about myself and others.
Nouwen's words have brought me to my knees in repentance for relying more on relationships and validation than the love of God.
It took me 3 days to journal through one paragraph.
He says in the introduction..
"Everything came crashing down - my self-esteem, my energy to live and work, my sense of being loved, my hope for healing, my trust in God... everything. Here I was, a writer about the spiritual life, known as someone who loves God and gives hope to people, flat on the ground and in total darkness.
Just when all those around me were assuring me they loved me, cared for me, appreciated me, yes, even admired me, I experienced myself as a useless, unloved, and despicable person."
Yes... Yes... It's like he was sitting right beside me knowing exactly what I was feeling.
Nouwen's words brought me to a more intimate place with Christ. A place I was and still am desperate for.
This book... I have so much to say, yet it has left me speechless. I will go back to it time and time again through my life, no doubt.
I leave you with these words...
"God loves me. God's love is enough. And I must choose the solid place over and over again." - Henri Nouwen