‘This invaluable collection of over 200 letters by the late Nouwen (The Wounded Healer), a beloved author, pastor, and priest, provides insight into his personal struggles, insecurities, and faith and offers the heartfelt guidance Nouwen shared so generously with individuals to a wide audience … The courage and kindness with which Nouwen shares his vulnerabilities and honest feelings, combined with his willingness to provide direction, advice, companionship, and affection, ensure that Nouwen’s legacy as inspired spiritual guide will continue, enhanced by this testimony to his sincere desire to live with gratitude, faith, and love.’
- Publishers Weekly
‘When I write I think deeply about my friends, I pray for them, I tell them my emotions and feelings. I reflect on our relationship and I dwell with them in a very personal way.’ - Henri Nouwen
Over the course of his life, priest, professor and writer Henri Nouwen wrote thousands of letters to friends, acquaintances, parishioners, students and readers of his work all around the world. He held a deep conviction about the value of reaching out to others through letters, believing that a thoughtful letter written in love could truly change someone’s life. As a result, many people looked to Nouwen as a long-distance spiritual advisor.
This collection of previously unpublished letters stretches from the earliest years of Henri’s career through to his last ten years at L’Arche Daybreak. Rich in spiritual insights as well as touching details of Henri’s daily life, the letters are organised around themes that emerge not just in his correspondence but in his writing, too: vocation and calling; solitude and prayer; suffering and perseverence; belovedness; and community. Across all these letters, what emerges most clearly is Henri’s belief in the rich value of human relationships.
As relevant today as they were forty years ago, and full of insight and encouragement, these letters offer a deeply personal look into the mind of a spiritual giant of the twentieth century, and are an ideal introduction to his life and thought.