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Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit Paperback – March 10, 2015
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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Laird, one of Nouwen's editors, have taken his famous course in spiritual formation and supplemented it with his unpublished writings to create the definitive series on Nouwen's thoughts on the Christian life.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.
- Publisher : HarperOne; Reprint edition (March 10, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061686131
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061686139
- Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.43 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #379,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book is compilation of a variety of Nouwen’s previously published and some unpublished pieces on the topic of spiritual formation to create this seamless book as though Nouwen himself had penned it.
This compilation is very beneficial for understanding the process of spiritual formation against the grain of a progress-oriented culture. Christensen, in the appendix, describes how Nouwen’s concept of spiritual formation is not progressive and linear, but rather a progressive journey. “The journey implies that progress is possible, but not in a measurable upward way, with cumulative results” (129).
Christensen also points out that nearly all of Nouwen’s works describe movements between various attitudes or stages. Spiritual Formation contains seven movements along the path of adult spiritual formation.
The major movements, according to Nouwen, are from opaqueness to transparency, from illusion to prayer, from sorrow to joy, from resentment to gratitude, from fear to love, from exclusion to inclusion, and from denying to befriending death. (Kindle Location 70)
One of the most impactful for me in this movement is creating a shift in thinking from time as Chronos to time as Kairos.
Once we discover that writing letters, attending classes, visiting friends, cooking food, and even doing the dishes are not a series of random activities but contain within themselves the transforming power of re-creation, we move from time lived as chronos to time lived as kairos (right time, the real moment , the opportunity for change, the chance of a lifetime). When our time becomes kairos, endless new possibilities and opportunities open up to our vision. (Kindle Location 450)
I also liked among the various spiritual practices that are incorporated throughout this book is one which was new to me “VISIO DIVINA” (sacred looking based on images not text).
Read full review at: joemcfadden.org
The previous book, "Spiritual Direction" was also a great one. I am beginning to read the next book in this trilogy, "Discernment."
Please note that these books are quite heavy. It's not light reading. The reader must be willing to give some serious time and thoughts to benefit from it. Therefore, it's better read as a group.