Henri J Nouwen – Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life + You Are The Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritual Living
Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 976 1 473 632 12 7 £10.99 357 Pages Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 978 1 473 63253 0 £16.99 410 Pages
A personal letter is a rare thing in the second decade of the 21st century, and the first of these books is a treasure trove of personal letters.
If you are going to receive a personal letter, you want it to be interesting, engaging and worthwhile. Nouwen writes with understanding, remarkable depth and unfailing compassion; he is patient and loyal in his correspondence with friends and acquaintances. Maybe that is the secret of these wide-ranging letters; Nouwen knew what it meant to be a friend; a friend of God and a friend to others.
Out of that deep reservoir of intimacy Nouwen uses his massive intellect and practical everyday wisdom to cut to the heart of the issues about which he is writing. The letters also reveal his own questions, longings and struggles; he is – in the words of the title of one of his most famous books – a wounded healer.
The second book is a book of daily readings selected for every day of the year from the full range of his writings and talks. A small daily dose of Nouwen is a great way to start or finish the day with something instructive, stimulating and refreshing.
Who would like to read these? Anyone who wants to be a little bit wiser in the way they live their lives, and anyone who is called on to impart that wisdom to others.
John Woods is pastor of Lancing Tabernacle