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Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life Hardcover – September 22, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
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A hard struggle is required.... But this struggle is not beyond our strength. It calls from some very specific, well-planned steps. It calls for a few moments a day in the presence of God when we can listen to his voice precisely in the midst of our many concerns. It also calls for the persistent endeavor to be with others in a new way by seeing them not as people to whom we can cling in fear, but as fellow human beings with whom we can create new space for God.--Michael Joseph Gross
“In this quietly written call to follow the way of Christian spirituality, Nouwen emphasizes the necessity for a personal program of contemplative solitude and for the individual’s involvement in a community of like-seeking Christians.” (Booklist)
Praise for Henri J. M. Nouwen:“Nouwen skillfully blends his knowledge of psychological growth with the great Christian traditions of spiritual development.” (Commonweal)
“[Henri Nouwen] offers faith in plain speech, solid nourishment for the soul.” (Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk)
“An invitation to the peace of mind and all-embracing love that is called the Holy Spirit.” (The Lutheran)
“In this little book, Nouwen urges us the one thing necessary: a total, fearless listening to the Father.” (The Living Church)
“It so clearly and beautifully lets us know where, and when, and what kind of event is the spiritual life.” (The Presbyterian Outlook)
“An instructive and gentle book. Henri Nouwen does more than tell us that solitude and community are essential for the spiritual life. His words impart a spirit that will better enable his readers to provide themselves with these seemingly contradictory necessities.” (Elizabeth O'Connor, author of Journey Inward, Journey Outward)
Top Customer Reviews
The solution is not a change of place, or partner, or promise. The solution lies in a change of heart. Nouwen suggests making your priorities the engine of your actions, rather than your actions the engine of your priorities. Making your spiritual center your true center will go a long way toward making your life fulfilling, rather than just full.
I can read his work every day as there is such wonderful clarity around the understanding of the human condition plus he writes in this wonderfully melodic style that is non-judgemental and peaceful.
The book starts with identifying busyness as a key enemy to a spiritual life. However, he highlights the fact that busyness doesn't necessarily lead to fulfilment. He then leads us into outlining the importance of the two disciplines: solitude and community. And it is in these two disciplines where a true spiritual life begins.
I particularly appreciate how he emphasises that prayer is about entering into God's presence so we can understand His purposes. God is always talking so it is only in solitude that we are able to hear God outline His plans and purposes. Jesus was an active listener and Nouwen encourages us to develop the same habit.
Nouwen has a lot to say about being unfulfilled in life. He claims to have "looked critically at his own life and the lives of those around him, [from which] two words emerge as descriptive of our situation: filled and unfulfilled" (page 23). When we focus on spiritual things, we are filled. When we get distracted from spiritual things, we are unfulfilled. He also says that he has a "gnawing sense of being unfulfilled underlies our filled lives" (page 29).
Finally, he says on page 69, "Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life. Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and him alone." Such a true statement.
His book is not an easy one to read, as it causes the reader to stop and think at many points. But it is a worthwhile investment of the reader's time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a gem. It is an easy enjoyable read with a surprise ending in the last section, at least it was for me. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kenneth Colwill
Very good book as are all of the author's works. His understanding of how we can be overwhelmed and bored at the same time is a common feeding that few understand. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer