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The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers Paperback – September 22, 2009
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“Clear, precise, biblically founded guidance...Skillfully blends knowledge of psychological growth with the great Christian traditions.” (Commonweal)
“Brings desert spirituality to bear upon the contemporary scene. ... Hauntingly relevant for us today.” (Christianity Today)
“Gemlike in its clarity.” (The Christian Century)
“Inspiring, to the point, and eminently practical in his advice about living spiritually in the world of today.” (Spiritual Book News)
“On the long road it’s good to have Nouwen and his divining rod. Deftly he bends toward the drop of spiritual wisdom caked in the most ordinary things.” (Helen Prejean, C.S.J., author of Dead Man Walking)
From the Inside Flap
Since it was first published more than twenty years ago, "The Way of the Heart has helped millions of men and women cast off the anger and greed that trouble the world-and find love, compassion, and peace in the heart of God.
Inspired by the ancient teachings of St. Anthony and the Desert Fathers, "The Way of the Heart clears before us a spiritual path consisting of three stepping-stones: Solitude (learning not to be alone but to be alone with God); Silence (the discipline by which the inner fire of God is tended and kept alive); and Prayer (standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart).
Distinguished theologian Henri Nouwen brilliantly illuminates each of these disciplines. In reflections that are beautifully clear and practical, as uplifting on the fourth reading as on the first, he helps us separate the wheat from the chaff in our spiritual lives-and reconnects us with what truly matters.
Within this one small book lies the most relevant and inspiring challenge that we shall ever face: to surrender the compulsive noise of the world for the way of the heart that leads us to God. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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His book, The Way of the Heart, is a respite from all our distractions by opening up the spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mother for our generations. He leads one through the basic spirituality of the Desert and breaks it down into three components -- solitude, silence, and prayer. He doesn't assume that any of us can fully step away from our lives as he didn't. So he gives some concrete ideas for each of us to use to be able to listen to God by pulling ourselves away from the noise, being silent with God, and entering contemplative prayer.
I highly recommend this book. It is short enough to read multiple times. My book is now highly underlined and commented in as it sparked many thoughts as I read it.
If you are new to Nouwen, I'd recommend that you also read (maybe even first) The Life of the Beloved and also The Return of the Prodigal. These two are my favorites. But Nowen is the kind of author that you will want to read all his books. They tend to be very short, easy to read, but very insightful. These are the kind you may need to read twice to get the full depth.
Nouwen is very, very special.