Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spiritby Henri J. M. Nouwen
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 direction and formation were never written down. Two of Nouwen’s longtime… See more details below
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 direction and formation were never written down. Two of Nouwen’s longtime students, Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird, have taken his famous course in spiritual direction and supplemented it with his unpublished writings to create the definitive series on Nouwen’s thoughts on the Christian life.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 the core concepts of Nouwen’s approach to the spiritual life. Book two, Spiritual Formation, showcases Nouwen’s life-long effort to re-construct the five classical stages of spiritual development as movements in the journey of faith. The five classical stages are these:
1. Awakening (our desire)
2. Purgation (purifying our passions)
3. Illumination (of God)
4. Dark Night (of the Soul)
5. Unification (with God)
Readings, stories, questions for personal reflection, and guided journal inquiry as articulated by Nouwen will provide readers with an experience in spiritual formation with the well-known author, priest, and guide. The third and final book in the series, Spiritual Discernment, is planned to release in 2012
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996) is the author of Reaching Out, The Wounded Healer, Making All Things New, The Return of the Prodigal Son, and many other bestsellers. He taught at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Notre Dame before becoming the senior pastor of L'Arche Daybreak in Toronto, Canada, a community where men and women with intellectual disabilities and their assistants create a home for one another.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
If you have never read works by the Dutch-born Catholic priest Henri Nouwen then your soul is missing out on nutrient-rich fanciful feasts. In his latest work, "Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of The Spirit", which was compiled and pieced together by one of his students Michael J. Christenson and Rebecca Laird, Nouwen takes his readers on a journey in how to live an authentic, vibrant and fulfilling spiritual life not only as individuals but as individuals in community for the sake of the world. In this life-changing book, Nouwen takes us through the major movements of spiritual formation, which for him 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. Not only does each chapter have thought-and-heart provoking exercises for "Going Deeper," but there are also full color pictures that correspond to each chapter that allow for, "Visio Divina," otherwise known as, "Sacred Seeing," which is an ancient practice that allows individuals or groups to connect with God through meditation and reflection on sacred images. This book is timely because of the dryness, emptiness and rampant burnout that are ubiquitous in our culture amongst all peoples, especially for ministers and those in helping professions. Part of the deep longings in our souls is due to the intense fast-paced hustle and bustle culture where everything is about performance, measurements and externals all to the neglect of the inner life, ultimately becoming veils that keep us from seeing as the Beloved sees and engaging the world with hearts full of the love of God. Nouwen's book holds valuable keys to help us embrace, enjoy and maintain a vibrant faith full of transparency, dependency on God and others, joy, gratitude, love, inclusivity and the ability to befriend and accept death. Nouwen has a unique ability to not only be honest and raw about his struggles in regards to the spiritual life but he is able to profoundly articulate them as well as sacred remedies. And the wonderful thing is that we as readers get to benefit from his brilliance and in turn learn and grow into mature, spiritually-vibrant sons and daughters of God. What I love about this book on spiritual formation is that it is not all about us but it is about a God who calls us and invites us to a sacred identity and blessedness whom then calls us out toward to lovingly engage the world. As Nouwen succinctly writes, "Spiritual formation means ongoing formation of the heart, in community life, expressed in service to the world." It encompasses and inward journey and an outward journey and neither one should overshadow the other. This is a beautiful read!!