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Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit Hardcover – May 25, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Henri Nouwen, the world-renowned spiritual guide and counselor, understood the spiritual life as a journey of faith and transformation that is deepened by accountability, community, and relationships. Though he counseled many people during his lifetime, his principles of spiritual formation were never written down. Now, Michael Christensen, one of Nouwen's longtime students, and Rebecca Laird, one of Nouwen's editors, have taken his famous course in spiritual formation and supplemented it with his unpublished writings to create the definitive series on Nouwen's thoughts on the Christian life.
The first book in the series, Spiritual Direction, introduced readers to Nouwen's core concepts and how to live the ques-tions of the spiritual life. Now Spiritual Formation reveals Nouwen's sage advice on how to live out the five classical stages of spiritual development. Featuring a unique visio divina, a visual meditation, to help guide and focus prayer, this volume reveals Nouwen's profound wisdom on how to move from sorrow to joy, resentment to gratitude, fear to love, and how to live there in the center—the place where God dwells.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It is an outline of some of the major movements in spiritual formation, and the different stages of that formation. So, it is divided into three parts: Early, Midlife, and Mature movements. In each section, Nouwen urges the reader to move away from a negative spiritual stance (like illusion) and towards a positive one (like prayer). Along the way, the reader finds interesting parables and stories, as well as insights from mystics past, and, of course, much scriptural teaching.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is, however, not a book that I can read and fully appreciate all at once. Let me explain. I have read the entire book, but much of it is full of teaching that I simply cannot follow yet; I am not there yet. I noticed this particularly in the third section of the book, on mature movements. I appreciate what he is saying, but it is beyond me right now. This is no criticism, it is just unusual. This book is meant to be read over a lifetime. That said, I enjoyed it a lot. Nouwen's insights into the human heart are, as usual, profound and moving. His wisdom in walking the path of Christ is very appreciated.
Two sections I greatly appreciated were his thoughts on transforming time from chronos to kairos and his thoughts on Community. For time, he talks about changing it from bare sequencing, to time in which God is with us, sacred moments that we can fill with spiritual formation.Read more ›
I work as a lay person helping homeless alcoholics and addicts. Introducing them to spiritual principles is difficult at best since the spectrum of spiritual education is wide and practice of spiritual disciplines even wider among this group of people.. What is beautiful about Nouwen's writings and the way the editors compiled his thoughts for us to digest, is the appeal of the idea that our souls are in constant movement between inner polarities. Nouwen has identified 28 of these sorts of movements, seven of which are explored in this book. For people bereft of spiritual education, this concept is hopeful and non-judgmental without much denominational dogma to debate while feeding the soul. One of my favorite chapters explores the movement from Resentments to Gratitude --- so helpful in recovery.
For souls immersed in spiritual education it is helpful also. Using the spiritual disciplines he suggests will only move us further in the direction we want to go.... from Fear to Love, Illusion to Prayer, Sorrow to Joy and more.
Nouwen is both lofty and practical; his understanding of the human mind and heart is profound and compassionate. I am blessed in reading this book.
Nouwen was a pastor, professor, pastoral psychologist, and widely read spiritual writer of 40+ books including The Wounded Healer. After two decades of teaching, with appointments including Yale and Harvard, he worked as pastor with mentally challenged people at Daybreak’s L’Arche community in Canada. In his teachings he draws on Catholic mystical theology and a psychodynamic understanding of the soul, as well as broad experience of academia and pastoral ministry and counselling. Spiritual Formation, like the previous volume Spiritual Direction (2006) and the following Spiritual Discernment (forthcoming) that form a trilogy, is a posthumous book. It is compiled from his notes and manuscripts by his Yale student Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird, while they were teaching spirituality and spiritual formation at Drew University.
The underlying invitation of the book is to descend from the mind to the heart to be shaped by God’s Spirit within.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Henri Nouwen's book Spiritual Formation . . . is another of his many books on spirituality that captures his simplistic writing style while providing profound religious concepts... Read morePublished 24 days ago by BlueJay590
This book by Nouwen is a collection of writings put together following Nouwen's death. The preface describes it as a primer on the spiritual life. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Craig Stephans
Weak pastiche of Nouwen feels about as challenging as pablum strained through a coffee filter. The writing Seems to be adapted from some of Nouwen's talks (or unfinished works)... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Herman Sutter
Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the SpiritThis is Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Read morePublished 4 months ago by @joemcfddn
Henri Nouwen is/was an excellent, approachable theologian, and he is excellent on this topic. The process of Spiritual Formation--simply put--is a collection of practices and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Richard Spafford