All Time Famous Henri Nouwen Quotes

Henri Nouwen Quotes

Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen(January 24, 1932 – September 21, 1996) was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian. His interests were rooted primarily in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice, and community. Over the course of his life, Nouwen was heavily influenced by the work of Anton Boisen, Thomas Merton, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, and Jean Vanier.

After nearly two decades of teaching at academic institutions including the University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School, Nouwen went on to work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the L’Arche Daybreak community in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Henri Nouwen Quotes

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

2. “Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

3. “Community is where humility and glory touch.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

4. “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 J.M. Nouwen

5. “Community means that people come together around the table, not just to feed their bodies, but to feed their minds and their relationships.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

6. “What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

7. “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 J.M. Nouwen

8. “Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?-are not questions with an answer but questions that open us up to new questions which lead us deeper into the unshakeable mystery of existence.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

9. “Prayer is first of all listening to God. It’s openness. God is always speaking; he’s always doing something.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

10. “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 J.M. Nouwen

11. “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 J.M. Nouwen

12. “You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

13. “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 J.M. Nouwen

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

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

16. “It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

17. “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 J.M. Nouwen

18. “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 J.M. Nouwen

19. “Pay attention to the people God puts in your path if you want to discern what God is up to in your life.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

20. “When we learn to move through suffering, rather than avoid it, then we greet it differently. We become willing to let it teach us. We even begin to see how God can use it for some larger end.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

21. “In true love, the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

22. “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 J.M. Nouwen

23. “Solitude is the place of purification and transformation, the place of the great struggle and the great encounter.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

24. “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 J.M. Nouwen

25. “The best of community does give one a deep sense of belonging and well-being, and in that sense community takes away loneliness.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

26. “Waiting time is not wasting time. Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

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

29. “Prayer is the center of the Christian life. It is the only necessary thing. It is living with God in the here and now.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

30. “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 J.M. Nouwen

31. “Active waiting means present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

32. “In our own woundedness, we can become sources of life for others.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

34. “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.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

35. “Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

36. “The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

37. “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 J.M. Nouwen

38. “Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

39. “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 J.M. Nouwen

40. “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 J.M. Nouwen

41. “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 J.M. Nouwen

42. “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 J.M. Nouwen

43. “When we give generously, with an abundance mentality, what we give away will multiply.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

44. “When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

45. “It is God’s passionate pursuit of us that calls us to prayer.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

46. “We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

47. “Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

49. “The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

50. “God doesn’t give us just enough. God gives us more than enough: more bread and fish than we can eat, more love than we dared to ask for.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

51. “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.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

52. “It is by chance that we met, by choice that we became friends.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

53. “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 J.M. Nouwen

54. “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 J.M. Nouwen

55. “Compassion can never coexist with judgment because judgment creates the distance, the distinction, which prevents us from really being with the other.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

56. “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 J.M. Nouwen

57. “From the moment we claim the truth of being the beloved, we are faced with the call to become who we are.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

58. “For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

59. “I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted; then I realized that the interruptions were my work.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

60. “Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

61. “Friends share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

62. “Christmas is believing that the salvation of the world is God’s work, and not mine.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

63. “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.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

64. “The spiritual life is a reaching out to our innermost self, to our fellow human and to our God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

66. “Our brokenness has no other beauty but the beauty that comes from the compassion that surrounds it.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

67. “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

68. “Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

69. “Becoming the beloved is pulling the truth revealed to me from above down into the ordinariness of what I am, in fact, thinking of, talking about, and doing from hour to hour.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

70. “The only feelings that do not heal are the ones you hide.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

71. “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 J.M. Nouwen

72. “That’s the temptation of the devil: “Turn stones into bread! Be relevant!””
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

73. “Peacemaking is a full-time vocation that includes each member of God’s people.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

74. “Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing- sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death – can take that love away.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

75. “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 J.M. Nouwen

76. “To receive spiritual direction is to recognize that God does not solve our problems or answer all our questions, but leads us closer to the mystery of our existence where all questions cease.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

77. “Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

78. “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 J.M. Nouwen

79. “Peace is first of all the art of being.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

80. “To the degree that we embrace the truth that our identity is not rooted in our success, power, or popularity, but in God’s infinite love, to that degree can we let go of our need to judge.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

81. “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 J.M. Nouwen

82. “Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

84. “In solitude we become aware that our worth is not the same as our usefulness.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

85. “One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

86. “Solitude is the furnace of transformation.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

87. “Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God’s heart.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

88. “God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment, be that moment hard or easy, joyful and painful.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

89. “If you meet God in solitude, you discover the God you meet is the God who embraces all people.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

90. “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

91. “Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply. It is like discovering a well in the desert. Once you have touched wet ground, you want to dig deeper.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

92. “Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

93. “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 J.M. Nouwen

94. “Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all costs, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

96. “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 J.M. Nouwen

97. “One of the main tasks of theology is to find words that do not divide but unite, that do not create conflict but unity, that do not hurt but heal.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

98. “As we read spiritually about spiritual things, we open our hearts to God’s voice. Sometimes we must be willing to put down the book we are reading and just listen to what God is saying to us through our words.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

99. “Life is just a little opportunity for you during a few years to say to God: ‘I love you, too.’”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

100. “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 J.M. Nouwen

101. “Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

102. “Friendship has always belonged to the core of my spiritual journey.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

103. “There are as many ways to pray as there are moments in life.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

104. “The spiritual life is not a life before, after, or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of the pains and joys of the here and now.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

105. “The beginning and the end of all Christian leadership is to give your life for others.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

106. “Friendship and love are impossible without a mutual vulnerability.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

107. “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 J.M. Nouwen

108. “The story of the prodigal son is the story of a God who goes searching for me and who doesn’t rest until he has found me.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

109. “Keep a space where God can let something totally new take place.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

110. “The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

111. “To be baptized means to make the passage with the people of Israel and with Jesus from slavery to freedom and from death to new life. It is a commitment to a life in and through Jesus.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

112. “Dear God, I am so afraid to open my clenched fists! Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I am not what I own, but what you want to give me.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

113. “Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

114. “Trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

115. “Joy and laughter are the gifts of living in the presence of God and trusting that tomorrow is not worth worrying about.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

116. “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 J.M. Nouwen

117. “To learn patience is not to rebel against every hardship.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

118. “Where true inner freedom is, there is God. And where God is, there we want to be.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

119. “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 J.M. Nouwen

120. “The soul of the artist cannot remain hidden.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

121. “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 J.M. Nouwen

122. “Every time we decide to be grateful it will be easier to see new things to be grateful for. Gratitude begets gratitude, just as love begets love.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

123. “The friend who cares makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters. In fact, it matters more than pain, illness, or even death.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

124. “I feel strongly that the God we meet in solitude is always the God who calls us to community.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

125. “If you are not able to be silent, you will not be able to speak well.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

126. “I am deeply convince that the necessity of prayer, and to pray unceasingly, is not as much based on our desire for God as on God’s desire for us. It is God’s passionate pursuit of us that calls us to prayer.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

127. “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 J.M. Nouwen

128. “Becoming like the heavenly Father is not just one important aspect of Jesus’ teaching, it is the very heart of his message.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

129. “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 J.M. Nouwen

130. “The spiritual life is a life beyond moods. It is a life in which we choose joy and do not allow ourselves to become victims of passing feelings of happiness or depression.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

131. “By giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

133. “The leap of faith always means loving without expecting to be loved in return, giving without wanting to receive, inviting without hoping to be invited, holding without asking to be held.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

134. “Be sure that you make a difference in the world.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

136. “Aging does not need to be hidden or denied, but can be understood, affirmed and experienced as a process of growth by which the mystery of life is slowly revealed to us.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

137. “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 J.M. Nouwen

138. “You are the heir to the Kingdom. Prosperity is your birth right and you hold the key to more abundance in every area of your life then you can possibly imagine.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

139. “Forgiveness changes the way we remember.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

140. “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 J.M. Nouwen

141. “Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you the freedom to go and stay where you wish and to find the many signs which point out the way to a new land.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

142. “We cannot make it rain but we can see to it that the rain falls on prepared soil.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

143. “When we keep claiming the light, we will find ourselves becoming more and more radiant.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

144. “God has created you and me with a heart that only God’s love can satisfy. And every other love will be partial, will be real, but limited, will be painful. And if we are willing to let the pain prune us, to give us a deeper sense of our belovedness, then we can be as free as Jesus and walk on this world and proclaim God’s first love, wherever we go.2.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

145. “Who can take away suffering without entering it?”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

146. “The real enemies of our life are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and now.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

147. “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 J.M. Nouwen

148. “Mourning our losses is the first step away from resentment and toward gratitude. The tears of our grief can soften our hardened hearts and open us to the possibility to say “thanks.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

149. “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 J.M. Nouwen

150. “Ministry is the least important thing. You cannot not minister if you are in communion with God and live in community.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

151. “The real ‘work’ of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

152. “A spiritual life without discipline is impossible. Discipline is the other side of discipleship. The practice of a spiritual discipline makes us more sensitive to the small, gentle voice of God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

153. “Is my growing old making me any closer to Christ? Am I only getting older or am I getting more godly?”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

154. “Your heart is greater than your wounds.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

155. “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 J.M. Nouwen

156. “When you have loved deeply, that love can grow even stronger after the death of the person you love. That is the core message of Jesus.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

157. “Asking people for money is giving them the opportunity to put their resources at the disposal of the Kingdom.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

158. “I realized that healing begins with our taking our pain out of its diabolic isolation and seeing that whatever we suffer, we suffer it in communion with all of humanity, and yes, all of creation. In so doing, we become participants in the great battle against the powers of darkness. Our little lives participate in something larger.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

159. “Lifting our cup means sharing our life so we can celebrate it. When we truly believe we are called to lay down our lives for our friends, we must dare to take the risk to let others know what we are living.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

160. “Prayer is the most concrete way to make our home in God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

161. “Our glory is hidden in our pain, if we allow God to bring the gift of himself in our experience of it.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

162. “The farther I run away from the place where God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the Beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and power games of the world.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

164. “Every time you reject yourself, you idealize others.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

165. “Prayer is not what is done by us, but rather what is done by the Holy Spirit in us.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

166. “Everything changes radically from the moment you know yourself as being sent into this world.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

167. “The world is evil only when you become its slave.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

168. “Our inclination is to show our Lord only what we feel comfortable with. But the more we dare to reveal our whole trembling self to him, the more we will be able to sense that his love, which is perfect love, casts out all our fears.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

169. “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 J.M. Nouwen

170. “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 J.M. Nouwen

171. “This sounds very simple and maybe even trite, but very few people know that they are loved without condition or limits.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

172. “In God’s eyes, the most significant is often the most hidden.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

173. “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 J.M. Nouwen

174. “I am beginning to see that much of praying is grieving. This grief is so deep not just because the human sin is so great, but also – and more so – because the divine love is so boundless. To become like the Father whose only authority is compassion, I have to shed countless tears and so prepare my heart to receive anyone, whatever their journey has been, and forgive them from that heart.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

175. “This brief lifetime is my opportunity to receive love, deepen love, grow in love, and give love.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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

177. “He who thinks that he is finished is finished. How true. Those who think that they have arrived, have lost their way. Those who think they have reached their goal, have missed it. Those who think they are saints, are demons.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

178. “God wants to bring joy, not pain, peace not war, healing not suffering. Therefore, instead of declaring anything and everything to be the will of God, we must be willing to ask ourselves where in the midst of our pains and sufferings we can discern the loving presence of God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

179. “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 J.M. Nouwen

180. “Life is not entertainment. Life is not a distraction.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

181. “The university has become a place that prepares you for the fights in the world.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

182. “Somewhere we know that without silence, words lose their meaning.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

183. “If fear is the great enemy of intimacy, love is its true friend.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

184. “Here is the God I want to believe in: a Father who, from the beginning of creation, has stretched out his arms in merciful blessing, never forcing himself on anyone, but always waiting; never letting his arms drop down in despair, but always hoping that his children will return so that he can speak words of love to them and let his tired arms rest on their shoulders. His only desire is to bless.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

185. “Theological formation is the gradual and often painful discovery of God’s incomprehensibility. You can be competent in many things, but you cannot be competent in God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

186. “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 J.M. Nouwen

187. “A life without a lonely place, that is, without a quiet center, becomes destructive.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

188. “People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness. They point each other to flashes of light here and there, and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real presence of God.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

189. “I was forced to enter the basement of my soul and look directly at what was hidden there, and to choose, in the face of it all, not death but life.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

190. “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 J.M. Nouwen

191. “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 J.M. Nouwen

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

193. “One way to express the spiritual crisis of our time is to say that most of us have an address but cannot be found there.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

194. “Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

195. “I am deeply convinced that 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 vulnerable self… to enter into a deeper solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter of success and bring the light of Jesus there.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

196. “The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? but: Are you in love with Jesus?”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

197. “Our efforts to disconnect ourselves from our own suffering end up disconnecting our suffering from God’s suffering for us. The way out of our loss and hurt is in and through.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

198. “Drinking the cup of life is fully appropriating and internalizing our own unique existence, with all its sorrows and joys. It is not easy to do this. For a long time we might not feel capable of accepting our own life; we might keep fighting for a better or at least a different life.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

199. “I am less likely to deny my suffering when I learn how God uses it to mold me and draw me closer to him. I will be less likely to see my pains as interruptions to my plans and more able to see them as the means for God to make me ready to receive him. I let Christ live near my hurts and distractions.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

200. “When we face death with hope, we can live life with generosity.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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