Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

by Henri J. M. Nouwen


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Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life by Henri J. M. Nouwen

With the clarity and depth characteristic of the classics, this spiritual bestseller lays out a perceptive and insightful plan for living a spiritual life and achieving the ultimate goal of that life — union with God.

Nouwen views our spiritual "ascent" as evolving in three movements. The first, from loneliness to solitude, focuses on the spiritual life as it relates to the experience of our own selves. The second, from hostility to hospitality, deals with our spiritual life as a life for others. The final movement, from illusion to prayer, offers penetrating thoughts on the most mysterious relationship of all: our relationship to God. Throughout, Nouwen emphasizes that the more we understand (and not simply deny) our inner struggles, the more fully we will be able to embrace a prayerful and genuine life that is also open to others' needs.

Reaching Out is a rich book to be read, reread, pondered, and shared with others. "It does not offers answers or solutions," Nouwen cautions, "but is written in the conviction that the quest for an authentic Christian spirituality is worth the effort and the pain, since in the midst of this quest we can find signs offering hope, courage, and confidence."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385236829
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/1986
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 125,267
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Henri J. M. Nouwen was a Catholic Priest who taught at several theological institutes and universities in his home country of the Netherlands and in the United States. He spent the final years of his life teaching and ministering to the mentally and physically disabled at the L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. His Writings have touched millions of readers around the world, and since his death, recognition of their enduring value has continued to grow.

Table of Contents

Reaching Out to Our Innermost Self: The First Movement: From Loneliness to Solitude21
Chapter 1A Suffocating Loneliness23
Chapter 2A Receptive Solitude37
Chapter 3A Creative Response49
Reaching Out to Our Fellow Human Beings: The Second Movement: From Hostility to Hospitality63
Chapter 4Creating Space for Strangers65
Chapter 5Forms of Hospitality79
Chapter 6Hospitality and the Host101
Reaching Out to Our God: The Third Movement: From Illusion to Prayer111
Chapter 7Prayer and Mortality113
Chapter 8The Prayer of the Heart133
Chapter 9Community and Prayer149

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Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
kylepotter on LibraryThing 11 days ago
Nouwen's essays offer much insight on holy hospitality, making place for God and other people in our lives.
BB422 More than 1 year ago
Digestible food for thought. Easy read. Understandable style. Remarkable!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this surprisingly encompassing book, Nouwen discusses an individual's intimate relationship with the only other three things that matter in life, i.e. relationship to self, to other people and to God. In doing so, the author helps the reader toward living a fruitful life of solitude, hospitality and prayer. The book is not light reading. It is full of deep insight. The benefit is that the book can be profitably re-read for new perspective.