Henri Nouwen doesn’t see the spiritual journey as a ladder, with continual movement up toward greater maturity. Rather he describes it as movement from the mind to the heart through prayer. The movements he discusses in this book are:
- From opaqueness to transparency
- From illusion to prayer
- From sorrow to joy
- From resentment to gratitude
- From fear to love
- From exclusion to inclusion
- From denying to befriending death
Spiritual formation takes time, it’s personal and inward, and it is best done with the support of others. It involves moving inward and moving outward.
Each chapter begins with one of Henri’s favorite stories, or parables and also an image. There are suggestions for both lection divina (meditative reading of Scripture) and visio divina (meditating on a sacred image). Reflection questions at the end of each chapter are good for journaling and applying the material to your own spiritual life.
VERDICT: 5 STARS. As usual, Henri Nouwen does not disappoint. His work resonates deeply with me, and I enjoyed doing some of the exercises provided.
For more about Henri Nouwen see: