110+ Henri Nouwen Quotes On Community, Hope And Peace

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Henri Nouwen inspirational quote

Top 10 Henri Nouwen Quotes (BEST)

  1. Pay attention to the people God puts in your path if you want to discern what God is up to in your life.
  2. What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love.
  3. My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered that my interruptions were my work.
  4. Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love.
  5. In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.
  6. The main question is not, how can we hide our wounds...but how can we put our woundedness in service to others.
  7. Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.
  8. Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.
  9. The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord
  10. Waiting time is not wasting time. Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.

Henri Nouwen Short Quotes

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  • When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.
  • When we keep claiming the light, we will find ourselves becoming more and more radiant.
  • The real question is: how can I live so that my death will be fruitful for others?
  • Friends share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.
  • Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
  • Our lives are unique stones in the mosaic of human existence -- priceless and irreplaceable.
  • Hiddenness is the place of purification. In hiddenness we find our true selves.
  • To give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer.
  • Our first responsibility in the midst of violence is to prevent it from destroying us.
  • Friendship and love are impossible without a mutual vulnerability.
 quote Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it eve
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Love

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Every time there are losses, there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper. — Henri Nouwen

Those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. LOVE is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking. — Henri Nouwen

Distance never seperates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad cuz I miss you I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss. — Henri Nouwen

Our humanity comes to its fullest bloom in giving. We become beautiful people when we give whatever we can give: a smile, a handshake, a kiss, an embrace, a word of love, a present, a part of our life...all of our life. — Henri Nouwen

I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found. — Henri Nouwen

Life is just a little opportunity for you during a few years to say, "I love you, too." — Henri Nouwen

This brief lifetime is my opportunity to receive love, deepen love, grow in love, and give love. — Henri Nouwen

My hope is that the description of God's love in my life will give you the freedom and the courage to discover... God's love in yours. — Henri Nouwen

Jesus invites us to abide in his love. That means to dwell with all that I am in him. It is an invitation to a total belonging, to full intimacy, to an unlimited being-with. The light of the Spirit reveals to us that love conquers all fear. — Henri Nouwen

It's an incredible mystery of God's love that the more you know how deeply you are loved, the more you will see how deeply your sisters and your brothers in the human family are loved. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Community

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The church is not an institution forcing us to follow rules but a community inviting us to still our hunger and thirst at its table. — Henri Nouwen

Christian community is the place where we keep the flame of hope alive among us and take it seriously so that it can grow and become stronger in us. — Henri Nouwen

If you want to know anything about community, you have to realize that the contemplative side is essential. Community without retreating and quiet time never survives. — Henri Nouwen

Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. — Henri Nouwen

Community always calls us back to solitude, and solitude always calls us to community. Community and solitude, both, are essential elements of ministry and witnessing. — Henri Nouwen

In community, where you have all the affection you could ever dream of, you feel that there is a place where even community cannot reach. That's a very important experience. In that loneliness, which is like a dark night of the soul, you learn that God is greater than community. — Henri Nouwen

I speak of God's love and grace and redemption and freedom, but when I say "in the context of this community," it is heard differently. To be with people so obviously broken, so obviously handicapped, and here to discover real joy and peace - that makes the Word of God come alive. — Henri Nouwen

Live, work, and travel with handicapped people, so I can stay close to them. But since I am often busy with many things, it's a constant struggle to keep the handicapped members of our community in the center of my life. — Henri Nouwen

The third discipline is community. Whom do you choose as your companions? Whom do you choose to be friends with, to live with? Are they people who love you, and care for you, and nurture you? — Henri Nouwen

The best of community does give one a deep sense of belonging and well-being; and in that sense community takes away loneliness. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Hope

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Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God's guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness. — Henri Nouwen

Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness. — Henri Nouwen

Fundraising is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful and hope-filled expression of ministry. In ministering to each other, each from the riches that he or she possesses, we work together for the full coming of God's Kingdom. — Henri Nouwen

In 1970 I felt so lonely that I could not give; now I feel so joyful that giving seems easy. I hope that the day will come when the memory of my present joy will give me the strength to keep giving even when loneliness gnaws at my heart. — Henri Nouwen

All the great spiritual leaders in history were people of hope. Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Mary, Jesus, Rumi, Gandhi, and Dorothy Day all lived with a promise in their hearts that guided them toward the future without the need to know exactly what it would look like. Let's live with hope. — Henri Nouwen

As long as we have our stories there is hope. — Henri Nouwen

What once seemed such a curse has become a blessing. All the agony that threatened to destroy my life now seems like the fertile ground for greater trust, stronger hope, and deeper love. — Henri Nouwen

Ministry means the ongoing attempt to put one's own search for God, with all the moments of pain and joy, despair and hope, at the disposal of those who want to join this search but do not know how. — Henri Nouwen

When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope. — Henri Nouwen

Prayer is the way to both the heart of God and the heart of the world - precisely because they have been joined through the suffering of Jesus Christ Praying is letting one's own heart become the place where the tears of God's children merge and become tears of hope. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Peace

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As those who are chosen, blessed, broken, and given, we are called to live our lives with a deep inner joy and peace. It is the life of the Beloved, lived in a world constantly trying to convince us that the burden is on us to prove that we are worthy of being loved. — Henri Nouwen

So I am praying while not knowing how to pray. I am resting while feeling restless, at peace while tempted, safe while still anxious, surrounded by a cloud of light while still in darkness, in love while still doubting. — Henri Nouwen

Feelings of guilt dominate our work as peacemakers we cannot last long. But when we have opened each other's eyes to the great human gifts among all people we can indeed make peacemaking a way of being. — Henri Nouwen

As peacemakers, we must resist all the powers of war and destruction and proclaim that peace is the divine gift offered to all who affirm life. Resistance means saying 'No' to all the forces of death, wherever they may be. — Henri Nouwen

...When you can look into the face of human beings and you have enough light to recognize them as your brothers and sisters. Up until then it is night and darkness is still with us. Let us pray for the light. It is the peace the world cannot give. — Henri Nouwen

Peace is first of all the art of being. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Prayer

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Prayer is not what is done by us, but rather what is done by the Holy Spirit in us. — Henri Nouwen

the real "work" of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me. To gently push aside and silence the many voices that question my goodness and to trust that I will hear the voice of blessing-- that demands real effort. — Henri Nouwen

Through prayer we can carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow, all conflicts and agonies, all torture and war, all hunger, loneliness and misery, not because of some great psychological or emotional capacity, but because God's heart has become one with ours. — Henri Nouwen

a spiritual life without prayer is like the gospel without Christ. — Henri Nouwen

Prayer and action...can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive. Prayer without action grows into powerless pietism, and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation. — Henri Nouwen

Prayer is first of all listening to God. It's openness. God is always speaking; he's always doing something. — Henri Nouwen

When you recognize the festive and the still moments as moments of prayer, then you gradually realize that to pray is to live. — Henri Nouwen

It is to this silence [contemplative prayer] that we all are called. — Henri Nouwen

The Christian leaders of the future have to be theologians, persons who know the heart of God and are trained - through prayer, study, and careful analysis - to manifest the divine event of God's saving work in the midst of the many seemingly random events of their time. — Henri Nouwen

A prayerful life is not a life in which we say many prayers, but a life in which nothing, absolutely nothing, is done, said, or understood independently of him who is the origin and purpose of our existence. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Gratitude

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The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. — Henri Nouwen

Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. — Henri Nouwen

When we approach fundraising in a spirit of gratitude, our confidence in our mission does not depend on how the person we are with responds to our request! We are free to remain secure in God's love with our hearts set joyfully on the kingdom. — Henri Nouwen

Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering God in gratitude. Such a perspective puts God in view in all of life, not just in the moments we set aside for worship or spiritual disciplines. Not just in the moments when life seems easy. — Henri Nouwen

Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift. My resentment tells me that I don't receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy. — Henri Nouwen

Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared. — Henri Nouwen

Emit gratitude as though it was done — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Silence

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Somewhere we know that without silence, words lose their meaning. — Henri Nouwen

Ministers are tempted to join the ranks of those who consider it their primary task to keep other people busy … But our task is the opposite of distraction … how to keep them from being so busy that they can no longer hear the voice of God who speaks in silence. — Henri Nouwen

We must ask ourselves how many times others would benefit more from our silence than from our words. — Henri Nouwen

It is not easy to enter into the silence and reach beyond the many boisterous and demanding voices of our world and to discover there the small intimate voice saying: 'You are my Belived Child, on you my favor rests.' — Henri Nouwen

As ministers our greatest temptation is toward too many words. They weaken our faith and make us lukewarm. But silence is a sacred discipline, a guard of the Holy Spirit. — Henri Nouwen

Silence is a very concrete, practical, and useful discipline in all our ministerial tasks. It can be seen as a portable cell taken with us from the solitary place into the midst of our ministry. Silence is solitude practiced in action. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Solitude

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Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. — Henri Nouwen

To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. — Henri Nouwen

Solitude is the place of purification and transformation, the place of the great struggle and the great encounter. — Henri Nouwen

Solitude is the furnace of transformation. — Henri Nouwen

In solitude we become aware that we were together before we came together and that life is not a creation of our will but rather an obedient response to the reality of our being united. — Henri Nouwen

Solitude is an essential element for the spiritual health of a child. If we only stimulate our children - keep them busy with endless stories with no space to be alone - that's not good. — Henri Nouwen

If you start with community and want to be faithful to community, you have to realize that what binds you together is not mutual compatibility or common tasks, but God. In order to stay in touch with that call to community, we always have to return to solitude. — Henri Nouwen

If you meet God in solitude, you discover the God you meet is the God who embraces all people. — Henri Nouwen

Solitude, community, and ministry are certainly not just for celibates! Celibates also have a hard time keeping up. — Henri Nouwen

It is in solitude that we discover that being is more important than having and that we are worth more than the results of our efforts. In solitude we discover that our life is not a possession to be defended but a gift to be shared. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family. — Henri Nouwen

If we want other people to give us something that only God can give, we become a demon. We say, "Love me!" and before you know it we become violent and demanding and manipulative. It's so important that we keep forgiving one another - not once in a while, but every moment of life. — Henri Nouwen

It is freeing to become aware that we do not have to be victims of our past and can learn new ways of responding. Forgiveness is love practiced among people who love poorly. It sets us free without wanting anything in return. — Henri Nouwen

The Question is not how much are you going to accomplish? Or can you show some results? But are you in love with Jesus? In our world of brokeness and despair, there is an enormous need for men and women who know the heart of God; a heart that forgives, cares, reaches out and wants to heal. — Henri Nouwen

Forgiveness changes the way we remember. — Henri Nouwen

Forgiveness changes the way we remember. It converts the curse into a blessing. Forgiveness indeed heals memories . . . — Henri Nouwen

Jesus.. says, 'Let go of your complaints, forgive those who loved you poorly, step over your feelings of being rejected, and have the courage to trust that you won't fall into an abyss of nothingness but into the safe embrace of a God whose love will heal all your wounds. — Henri Nouwen

Forgiveness indeed heals memories — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Joy

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Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. — Henri Nouwen

We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it. — Henri Nouwen

In this crazy world, there's an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they're never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom. — Henri Nouwen

...real care means the willingness to help each other in making our brokenness into the gateway to joy. — Henri Nouwen

The joy that compassion brings is one of the best-kept secrets of humanity. It is a secret known only to a very few people, a secret that has to be rediscovered over and over again. — Henri Nouwen

Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain. — Henri Nouwen

We need to remind each other that the cup of sorrow is also the cup of joy, that precisely what causes us sadness can become the fertile ground for gladness. — Henri Nouwen

Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live is shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. — Henri Nouwen

Life is a gift, not to possess, but to share. — Henri Nouwen

The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Spiritual

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Spiritual maturity is not knowing what to do with your whole life, but just knowing what to do next. — Henri Nouwen

Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you. — Henri Nouwen

Without Pentecost the Christ-event - the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus - remains imprisoned in history as something to remember, think about and reflect on. The Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within us, so that we can become living Christs here and now. — Henri Nouwen

In a strange way the spiritual life isn't "useful" or "successful." But it is meant to be fruitful. And fruitfulness comes out of brokenness. — Henri Nouwen

Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved. — Henri Nouwen

Living a spiritual life requires a change of heart, a conversion. Such a conversion may be marked by a sudden inner change, or it can take place through a long, quiet process of transformation. But it always involves an inner experience of oneness. — Henri Nouwen

Our spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, expecting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination or prediction. This, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control. — Henri Nouwen

The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it — Henri Nouwen

Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God. — Henri Nouwen

Although I am a committed Catholic priest, and nowhere hide that fact, my focus is very much a spiritual journey. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Inspirational

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Which questions guide our lives? Which questions do we make our own? Which questions deserve our undivided and full personal commitment? Finding the right questions is crucial to finding the answers. — Henri Nouwen

When we have sold our identity to the judges of this world, we are bound to become restless, because of a growing need for affirmation and praise. — Henri Nouwen

Someday I would love to write about Vincent van Gogh - his paintings and letters continue to inspire me very much. But it remains hard to find the time and inner rest to write. — Henri Nouwen

I trust in you, Lord, but keep helping me in my moments of distrust and doubt. — Henri Nouwen

Each individual human being can claim the Spirit of Jesus as the guiding spirit of his or her life. In that Spirit we can speak and act freely and confidently with the knowledge that the same Spirit that inspired Jesus is inspiring us. — Henri Nouwen

You don't think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On People

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Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. — Henri Nouwen

God, help me to see others not as enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst. — Henri Nouwen

When we have nothing to cling to as our own and cease thinking of ourselves as people who must defend privileges, we can open ourselves freely to others with the faithful expectation that our strength will manifest itself in our shared weakness. — Henri Nouwen

Once you are in communion with God, you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear other people in whom God has also found a dwelling place. — Henri Nouwen

Do not tell everyone your story. You will only end up feeling more rejected. People cannot give you what you long for in your heart. The more you expect from people's response to your experience of abandonment, the more you will feel exposed to ridicule. — Henri Nouwen

We are not the healers, we are not the reconcilers, we are not the givers of life. We are sinful, broken, vulnerable people who need as much care as anyone we care for. — Henri Nouwen

The members - mentally handicapped people who are marginal in society and not useful in an economic sense - welcomed me into their lives. And I was loved, not because of what s doing but because of who I was. — Henri Nouwen

Most Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead. Many Christian empire-builders have been people unable to give and receive love. — Henri Nouwen

As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their "right" place. — Henri Nouwen

Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, 'Come Lord Jesus!' — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Life

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Our life is full of brokenness - broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God's faithful presence in our lives. — Henri Nouwen

The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection. — Henri Nouwen

In our own woundedness, we can become sources of life for others. — Henri Nouwen

We just have to recognize life for what it is: a gift to be grateful for, not a property to cling to, hoard, or defend. — Henri Nouwen

Your life is not going to be easy, and it should not be easy. It ought to be hard. It ought to be radical; it ought to be restless; it ought to lead you to places you'd rather not go. — Henri Nouwen

A few years ago I met an old professor at the University of Notre Dame. Looking back on his long life of teaching, he said with a funny wrinkle in his eyes: I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I slowly discovered that my interruptions were my work. — Henri Nouwen

Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared. — Henri Nouwen

Our society is so fragmented, our family lives so sundered by physical and emotional distance, our friendships so sporadic, our intimacies so 'in-between' things and often so utilitarian, that there are few places where we can feel truly safe. — Henri Nouwen

A life without a lonely place, that is, without a quiet center, becomes destructive. — Henri Nouwen

Christian life is not a life divided between times for action and times for contemplation. No. Real social action is a way of contemplation, and real contemplation is the core of social action. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Quotes On Fear

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Fear is the great enemy of intimacy. Fear makes us run away from each other or cling to each other but does not create true intimacy. — Henri Nouwen

Let's dare to enter into an intimate relationship with God without fear, trusting that we will receive love and always more love. — Henri Nouwen

Our Western society is showing its technological muscles in ever more threatening ways, but the experience of fear, anxiety and even despair has increased in equal proportion. Indeed, the paradox is that the powerful giants feel as powerless as a new-born babe. — Henri Nouwen

It is very hard to stay in touch with our true identity because those who want our money, our time, and our energy profit more from our insecurity and fears than from our inner freedom. — Henri Nouwen

If fear is the great enemy of intimacy, love is its true friend. — Henri Nouwen

Although many, we might even say most, strangers in this world become easily the victim of a fearful hostility, it is possible for men and women and obligatory for Christians to offer an open and hospitable space where strangers can cast off their strangeness and become our fellow human beings. — Henri Nouwen

Every time I take a step in the direction of generosity, I know I am moving from fear to love. — Henri Nouwen

Solitude is the place where we can connect with profound bonds that are deeper than the emergency bonds of fear and anger. — Henri Nouwen

Intimacy is not a happy medium. It is a way of being in which the tension between distance and closeness is dissolved and a new horizon appears. Intimacy is beyond fear. — Henri Nouwen

When we break bread and give it to each other, fear vanishes and God becomes very close. — Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen Famous Quotes And Sayings

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We are called to be fruitful - not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness. — Henri Nouwen

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. — Henri Nouwen

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking our words more seriously and discovering their true selves. — Henri Nouwen

When I trust deeply that today God is truly with me and holds me safe in a divine embrace, guiding every one of my steps I can let go of my anxious need to know how tomorrow will look, or what will happen next month or next year. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God's love within me and around me. — Henri Nouwen

The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God's eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity and held safe in an everlasting embrace... We must dare to opt consciously for our chosenness and not allow our emotions, feelings, or passions to seduce us into self-rejection. — Henri Nouwen

Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. — Henri Nouwen

When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don't say to yourself "All is lost. I have to start all over again." This is not true. What you have gained you have gained....When you return to the the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started. — Henri Nouwen

Compassion can never coexist with judgement because judgement creates the distance, the distinction, which prevents us from really being with the other. — Henri Nouwen

I often wonder if my knowledge about God has not become my greatest stumbling block to my knowledge of God. — Henri Nouwen

Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human. — Henri Nouwen

Prayer requires that we stand in God's presence with open hands, naked and vulnerable, proclaiming to ourselves and to others that without God we can do nothing. As disciples, we find not some but all of our strength, hope, courage, and confidence in God. Therefore, prayer must be our first concern. — Henri Nouwen

We are all healers who can reach out and offer health, and we are all patients in constant need of help. — Henri Nouwen

Indeed, when God's glory dwells in me, there is nothing too far away, nothing too painful, nothing too strange or too familiar that it cannot contain and renew by its touch. Every time I recognize the glory of God in me and give it space to manifest itself to me, all that is human can be brought there and nothing will be the same again. — Henri Nouwen

To be a Christian who is willing to travel with Christ on his downward road requires being willing to detach oneself constantly from any need to be relevant, and to trust ever more deeply the Word of God. — Henri Nouwen

Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human. — Henri Nouwen

As long as we relate to the trees, the rivers, the mountains, the fields and the oceans as properties which we can manipulate according to our real or fabricated needs, nature remains opaque, and does not reveal to us its true being. — Henri Nouwen

The Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. God loves us, not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love. — Henri Nouwen

A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. — Henri Nouwen

The pain that comes from deep love makes your love more fruitful. It is like a plow that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root. — Henri Nouwen

True Hospitality is welcoming the stranger on her own terms. This kind of hospitality can only be offered by those who've found the center of their lives in their own hearts. — Henri Nouwen

Solitude is very different from a 'time-out' from our busy lives. Solitude is the very ground from which community grows. Whenever we pray alone, study, read, write, or simply spend quiet time away from the places where we interact with each other directly, we are potentially opened for a deeper intimacy with each other. — Henri Nouwen

The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God. — Henri Nouwen

I can choose to grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly. — Henri Nouwen

The beatitudes say, "Blessed are the poor". They don't say, "Blessed are those who care for the poor." — Henri Nouwen

Where are you getting your affection? Who's touching you? Who's holding you? Who makes you feel alive? Who says, "You are a beautiful person, you are the beloved of God, don't forget it"? That's an important discipline. — Henri Nouwen

Real greatness is often hidden, humble, simple, and unobtrusive. It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without public affirmation. We must have strong self-confidence combined with deep humility. — Henri Nouwen

Jesus didn't say, 'Blessed are those who care for the poor.' He said, 'Blessed are we where we are poor, where we are broken.' It is there that God loves us deeply and pulls us into deeper communion with himself. — Henri Nouwen

When we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative. — Henri Nouwen

What is important is how well we love. God will make our love fruitful, whether we see that fruitfulness or not. — Henri Nouwen

The evangelical movement has become just a bit victimized by a success-oriented culture, wanting the church - like the corporation - to be successful. — Henri Nouwen

While optimism makes us live as if someday soon things will soon go better for us, hope frees us from the need to predict the future and allows us to live in the present, with the deep trust that God will never leave us alone but will fulfill the deepest desires of our heart... Joy in this perspective is the fruit of hope. — Henri Nouwen

My writing has developed drastically . The Return of the Prodigal Son is the most important thing I've done, and my most mature book. — Henri Nouwen

God's Kingdom is a place of abundance where every generous act overflows its original bounds and becomes part of the unbounded grace of God at work in the world. — Henri Nouwen

Learning to weep, learning to keep vigil, learning to wait for the dawn. Perhaps this is what it means to be human. — Henri Nouwen

Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others. — Henri Nouwen

Life Lessons by Henri Nouwen

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  1. Henri Nouwen taught us to embrace our vulnerability and to accept our limitations, recognizing that we are all imperfect and that our imperfections can be a source of strength.
  2. He also emphasized the importance of being open to the spiritual world and to the love of God, and of living with a sense of compassion and understanding for others.
  3. Finally, Nouwen taught us to be attentive to the needs of those around us, and to strive to be a source of peace and comfort in our communities.

In Conclusion

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