Henri Nouwen Quotes

I love the thoughts and words here by a man who lived deeply a journey into life and faith in Jesus Christ:

“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.”

“I know that I have to move from speaking about Jesus to letting him speak within me, from thinking about Jesus to letting him think within me, from acting for and with Jesus to letting him act through me. I know the only way for me to see the world is to see it through his eyes.”

“To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit,l from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play.”

“You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.”

Source: Good Reads

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16 Comments
  1. Kelly August 27, 2010 at 11:34 am

    thanks for these – much food for pondering

  2. kent August 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Henri Nouwen is just one of a handful of men trained as priests of the Catholic tradition (several of them eventually left it) that have been enormous help to me on my journey. Love the quotes

  3. Kelly August 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    thanks for these – much food for pondering

  4. kent August 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Henri Nouwen is just one of a handful of men trained as priests of the Catholic tradition (several of them eventually left it) that have been enormous help to me on my journey. Love the quotes

  5. Joseph Onesta August 28, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Few have said it better. Though we are all part of a greater whole…though our paths cross and we are given the privilage of aiding one another along the way…our journey is an individual one–not necessarily lonely, but individual. I like the sense solitude. Like many of us, I know that wilderness fairly well having spent considerable time there–not that I can ever navigate it without direction. I think of how Jesus said, “I AM the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me.” Yet we clearly see the words are more than they appear. It is not the mere material of the words but understanding that we must not only ascribe to what He was saying but we must BECOME it. My journey is along a path of becoming. When Jesus said those words he was showing us as much as if not more than informing us.

  6. Joseph Onesta August 28, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Few have said it better. Though we are all part of a greater whole…though our paths cross and we are given the privilage of aiding one another along the way…our journey is an individual one–not necessarily lonely, but individual. I like the sense solitude. Like many of us, I know that wilderness fairly well having spent considerable time there–not that I can ever navigate it without direction. I think of how Jesus said, “I AM the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me.” Yet we clearly see the words are more than they appear. It is not the mere material of the words but understanding that we must not only ascribe to what He was saying but we must BECOME it. My journey is along a path of becoming. When Jesus said those words he was showing us as much as if not more than informing us.

  7. Mike Rea August 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

    What a great picture!! It evokes much emotion in me just looking at him. Honestly haven’t really been able to read the post much because I’ve been fixated on the pic. What a brilliant man. Wouldn’t it have been something to be sitting in that class listening to him?

    I’ve read quite a few of Henri’s writings and as brilliant as he was it doesn’t compare to his days in the L’arche community, post seminary prof life, living simply in unity with Jesus as a Beloved child. It was from that place that his deepest wisdom and insight freely flowed.

  8. Mike Rea August 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    What a great picture!! It evokes much emotion in me just looking at him. Honestly haven’t really been able to read the post much because I’ve been fixated on the pic. What a brilliant man. Wouldn’t it have been something to be sitting in that class listening to him?

    I’ve read quite a few of Henri’s writings and as brilliant as he was it doesn’t compare to his days in the L’arche community, post seminary prof life, living simply in unity with Jesus as a Beloved child. It was from that place that his deepest wisdom and insight freely flowed.

  9. exdroid August 29, 2010 at 4:57 am

    I’ve always loved his book ”The Return of the Prodigal Son” …just so much stuff like this in that book.

  10. exdroid August 29, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I’ve always loved his book ”The Return of the Prodigal Son” …just so much stuff like this in that book.

  11. vjn August 31, 2010 at 12:13 am

    hi, i looked up Henri Nouwen because his name sounded so Dutch and apparently he was, like me 🙂 I also read that he was a man who struggled with his sexuality for all of his life. I am grateful he was able to communicate these thoughts to us despite this. This gives a little courage to speak my mind too even though i’m struggling with other issues too because at this moment my thoughts are so trained to hear the following when i want to speak of god’s unconditional love: “you’re sinning man, why would we listen to you? it isn’t even working in your life!”

  12. vjn August 31, 2010 at 3:13 am

    hi, i looked up Henri Nouwen because his name sounded so Dutch and apparently he was, like me 🙂 I also read that he was a man who struggled with his sexuality for all of his life. I am grateful he was able to communicate these thoughts to us despite this. This gives a little courage to speak my mind too even though i’m struggling with other issues too because at this moment my thoughts are so trained to hear the following when i want to speak of god’s unconditional love: “you’re sinning man, why would we listen to you? it isn’t even working in your life!”

  13. David Avilla October 4, 2010 at 6:35 am

    I had found a video of Henri speaking about the topics you mentioned in your first paragraph and have listened to it several times since then. It’s viewable on YouTube in eight separate clips.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFWfYpd0F18&feature=related
    He connects these thoughts with the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness and shows how these are fundamental themes in our humanity. I appreciate so much how Henri brings us to focus on receiving our identities from our relationship with the Father, where He is speaking to us continually “You are the beloved son/daughter of God!” Where we are deriving out sense of identity is such a consequential factor in our lives! Let’s focus our eyes upon the Father and hearken unto his voice speaking to us each individually, “You are my beloved child”. Henri does a wonderful service to us of sharing this message in a warm and engaging way.

  14. David Avilla October 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I had found a video of Henri speaking about the topics you mentioned in your first paragraph and have listened to it several times since then. It’s viewable on YouTube in eight separate clips.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFWfYpd0F18&feature=related
    He connects these thoughts with the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness and shows how these are fundamental themes in our humanity. I appreciate so much how Henri brings us to focus on receiving our identities from our relationship with the Father, where He is speaking to us continually “You are the beloved son/daughter of God!” Where we are deriving out sense of identity is such a consequential factor in our lives! Let’s focus our eyes upon the Father and hearken unto his voice speaking to us each individually, “You are my beloved child”. Henri does a wonderful service to us of sharing this message in a warm and engaging way.

  15. Ann October 13, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    The Inner Voice of Love is, perhaps, one of the most profound Christian works I have ever encountered. Nouwen’s heart for his fellow travelers’ struggles was immense.

  16. Ann October 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    The Inner Voice of Love is, perhaps, one of the most profound Christian works I have ever encountered. Nouwen’s heart for his fellow travelers’ struggles was immense.

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