Item description for The Selfless Way of Christ: Downward Mobility and the Spiritual Life by Henri J. M. Nouwen & Vincent Van Gogh...
Overview A short guide to the spiritual life. "Vocation, temptation, and formation are lifelong realities. We are called not once, but day in and day out, and we will never know for sure where we are being led . . . But when we persevere with hope, courage, and confidence, we will come to fully realize in our innermost being that through the downward road of Christ we will enter with him into his glory." In this short work Henri Nouwen offers a penetrating reflection on the challenge of the spiritual life, especially the call to imitate Christ's example of "downward mobility." This vocation is sorely tested by the constant celebration of "upward mobility," which brings to mind the temptations Christ faced in the wilderness: to be "powerful, relevant, and spectacular." To prepare us for this path, Nouwen describes the "disciplines of spiritual formation," represented by the Church, the Word of God, and the promptings of our heart. Illustrated with drawings by Vincent van Gogh, The Selfless Way of Christ is an inspiring guide for ministers and everyone walking the path of discipleship.
Publishers Description In this short work Henri Nouwen offers a penetrating reflection on the challenge of the spiritual life, especially the call to imitate Christ's example of "downward mobility." This vocation is sorely tested by the constant celebration of "upward mobility," which brings to mind the temptations Christ faced in the wilderness" to be "powerful, relevant, and spectacular." To prepare us for this path, Nouwen descriabes the "disciplines of spiritual formation," represented by the Church, the Word of God, and the promptings of our heart.
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.33" Width: 5.24" Height: 0.56" Weight: 0.48 lbs.
Release Date Mar 20, 2007
Publisher Orbis Books
ISBN 157075702X ISBN13 9781570757020
Availability 0 units.
More About Henri J. M. Nouwen & Vincent Van Gogh
Henri J. M. Nouwen was a Catholic priest who taught at several theological institutes and universities in his home country of the Netherlands and in the United States. He shared the final years of his life with people with mental and physical disabilities at the L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. He died in 1996. He authored many books on the spiritual life, including Reaching Out, The Wounded Healer, and The Return of the Prodigal Son.
Henri J. M. Nouwen was born in 1932 and died in 1996.
Henri J. M. Nouwen has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Selfless Way of Christ: Downward Mobility and the Spiritual Life?
self-emptied heart Jun 25, 2008
I have numerous books by Henri Nouwen, but this one has to be my favorite. Its message is that of authenticity through humility: we must relinquish our desire to be powerful if we are to obey Christ, who desired to make us whole. Nouwen wrote, "the mystery of our ministry is that we are called to serve not with our power but with our powerlessness." We are "sent into the world naked, vulnerable and weak." We cannot be followers of Christ, serving "our neighbors for their sake and not our own," unless our service has its source in "undivided attention to God." Such service requires true poverty, a "self-emptied heart." This book is profoundly comforting and provides sure guidance along the narrow (and yet gentle) path.
~Logospilgrim, author of 'Just a thistle'
Un-ambition Jan 3, 2008
First published in 1981 as a series of articles in "Sojourners" magazine, The Selfless Way of Christ is Henri Nouwen at his best. Although the themes won't be unfamiliar to readers of his books, his presentation of them here is succinct and eloquent. The van Gogh sketches that accompany the text are also beautiful and haunting.
In The Selfless Way of Christ, Nouwen argues that the way of the Christian is the way of Christ: what he marvellously calls "downward mobility." Just as Jesus self-emptied for the sake of others, practicing humility, nonviolence, nonjudgmentalism, and sacrificial love, so must those who call themselves his disciples. This is our vocation.
But the culture in which we live tempts us, of course, with the path of "upward mobility." Actually, this has always been a temptation in all civilizations. The scriptural story of Jesus' three temptations speaks to it, and the second chapter of the book is Nouwen's interpretation of the story. In his hands, the three temptations are the urge to be relevant, spectacular, and powerful.
To follow the downward path and avoid the temptation of the upward one, Nouwen ends the book with a chapter on the disciplines of spiritual formation. He makes it clear that it's the Holy Spirit that disciplines us, not our own efforts or will alone. The Holy Spirit works through the Church, through scripture, and through prayer. In the first we encounter the living Christ in time and space; in the second we encounter the incarnate presence of God in concrete terms; and in the third, we cultivate an inner openness or receptivity to God.
Nouwen says that we'll never be free of the tension between our vocation to downward, and our great temptation to upward, mobility. "But when we persevere with hope, courage, and confidence, we will come to fully realize in our innermost being that through the downward road of Christ we will enter with him into his glory" (p. 93). Well said indeed.
Amazing view our life with Christ Jul 27, 2007
This is an amazing view of how we need to be when we have submitted ourselves to Christ. A must read for the next setp.