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The Genesee Diary [Paperback]

By Henri J. M. Nouwen (Author)
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Item description for The Genesee Diary by Henri J. M. Nouwen...

From the early weeks of his seven-month stay at the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York to the final days of Advent, when he finds a new sense of calm expectation, Noouwen never loses his critical honesty. Insightful, compassionate, often humorous, always realistic, this book is both an inspiration and a challenge to those who are in search of themselves.

Publishers Description

During his seven-month stay in a Trappist monastery, Henri Nouwen had a unique opportunity to explore crucial issues of the spiritual life and discover "a quiet stream underneath the fluctuating affirmations and rejections of my little world." Nouwen participated fully in the daily life of the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York -- in work and in prayer. From the early weeks in the abbey -- dominated by conflicting desires and concerns -- to the final days of Advent, when he finds a new sense of calm expectation, Nouwen never loses his critical honesty. Insightful, compassionate, often humorous, always realistic, "The Genesee Diary" is both an inspiration and a challenge to those who are in search of themselves.
""The Genesee Diary" beautifully lifts the heart and mind to God."
--"Christianity Today
""This is an extraordinary account of a man seeking inner peace and total commitment to God... a fine portrait of cloistered life, a beautifully written account of one man's soul-searching."
--"Publisher's Weekly"

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Image
Pages   223
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.19" Width: 5.39" Height: 0.63"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 20, 1981
Publisher   Image
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0385174462  
ISBN13  9780385174466  

Availability  0 units.

More About Henri J. M. Nouwen

Henri J. M. Nouwen Henri J. M. Nouwen has found a wide receptive audience to his books on modern spirituality. He was a teacher of pastoral theology at Notre Dame, the Yale Divinity School and at Harvard University. He was also a frequent visitor and "family brother" at the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York. His many books include The Return of the Prodigal Son, Reaching Out, Clowning in Rome, With Open Hands, Making All Things New, Out of Solitude, and The Genesee Diary. He died in his native Netherlands in 1996.

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...
  1. Henri Nouwen Spirituality
  2. Modern Spiritual Masters

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( N ) > Nouwen, Henri > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( N ) > Nouwen, Henri > Paperback
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Discipleship
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Genesee Diary?

A Sincere, remarkable memoir: Heartfelt and spiritual  Sep 27, 2007
For the Catholic Priest and writer, Henri J.M. Nouwen, writing about visiting a Trappist Monastery is more than a diary, a visit to a monastery, it is a statement of insight and inspiration by a writer who starts his book with the simple words, "Thanks be to God that I am here!" Like the report on his visit, his words are heartfelt. The title is descriptive and straightforward, like the book itself: "The Genesee Diary: A Report from a Trappist Monastery."

A sincere, remarkable memoir by the writer, I was taken with his willingness to seek God and in his seeking come to terms with his life and relationship in Christ. Although it is a religious book, no doubt, the light hand of the well-known Henri J.M. Nouwen will not disappoint a wide readership. After all, this popular and well-regarded work has stood the test of time since it was first published, and, happily, is available again to a new generation of readers.

In his honesty, Nouwen says at one point about his conversations of spiritual direction with the Abbot John Eudes, "If I allowed no one but the Lord to determine my identity, would I know the Lord? Or is it a fact that even in my meditation I relate to the Lord as I relate to people--that is--by manipulation and projection."

Please don't be misled; this is a good man telling of his struggles, a brilliant man, even. Once a professor at Harvard, his time at Genesee brings him to say, "...I can slowly detach myself from this need for human affirmation and discover that it is in the relationship with the Lord that I find my true self, an unconditional surrender to him becomes not only possible, but even the only desire..." We journey with Father Nouwen as this unfolding reveals what he hoped for by staying at the monastery, not only for reflection and meditation, but also a coming to himself.

It is fair to say this book is about God and man; as part of his explanation, the writer states how the means to that end is prayer: "Speaking about prayer, I asked John Eudes a question that seemed very basic and a little naïve: `When I pray, to whom do I pray?' `When I say `Lord,' what do I mean?" In his quiet way, almost unnoticed by the ease of manner in the writing, the book addresses many most important questions. That is what Abbot John Eudes calls this particular insight about prayer, "...[a] most important question."

I found this book a book about love. "I would like to think a little more about love," he says, and he writes of how the monastery is a place of relationships. We learn how the monks live out their lives in Christ. We learn how he joins them, and they especially offer a hospitality that is one in Christ. Henri J.M. Nouwen comes to find this love, which teaches him, aids him in his ruminations and self-appraisals of his relationship and life in the world. After all, this is a book about a retreat. An admirable and readable hardback title published by Doubleday in my copy, certainly an asset to anyone's need for spiritual direction in the form of a report, and an asset as a book that fills the need for a just plain good read.

--Peter Menkin, Pentecost 2007
Nouwen vs Nouwen at Genesee  Jun 15, 2007
I first read Henri Nouwen's THE GENESEE DIARY some thirty years ago, shortly after its publication, and was very much taken with it. Nouwen's descriptions of monastic life during his seven-month sojourn at the Abbey of the Genesee, a Trappist monastery in New York State, gave the reader a privileged, vicarious experience of a distinct and ancient way of life in the Church. I think I was also moved by Nouwen's notes on his spiritual journey as he was forced to confront his personal failings in an environment where one has very few distractions to encourage one to overlook or ignore them.

Upon re-reading it, I found I had considerably less patience for his litany of complaints. When he would complain about the boring daily work routine at the monastery--baking bread and gathering rocks for the church construction, for instance--I just wanted to tell him to get over it. Likewise, when he would complain that while he was in the monastery his many outside friends and acquaintances seemed to forget him, I wanted to tell him to get over himself. When I first read this book, I was college student; now, I am living in the "real" world with all of its demands and challenges. I am now somewhat annoyed by Nouwen's introspection and complaining.

When I read this thirty years ago, the references to Watergate and to the peace movement were news; now it's history, and those references make the material seem dated, even if the general themes of war and hunger haven't changed over time. Moreover, Nouwen's protestations against the injustice of hunger in a world of plenty seem hollow coming from a man on a monastic vacation. The monks, at least, were in it for life.

However that may be, there are still spiritual insights in the book that salvage the book for me. First of all, it took guts to put one's failings on display to the extent that he did. He confronts each of those weaknesses in his prayer and with his spiritual director, John Eudes. His spiritual director does not let him off the hook. What a luxury it is to have a guide like John Eudes on one's spiritual journey! What I also admired about Nouwen's book is that, in the end, despite modest progress on his spiritual journey, he admitted to having changed very little as a man. Nonetheless, his memory of his days and months at Genesee would be, he believed, a refuge, a place of light, during the difficult, dark times of his life ahead.
Read it, but don't read it first!  Nov 4, 2006
The Genessee Diary is a much more difficult Nouwen read than any of his other books. BUT it is an important read for those of us who have found Nouwen to be such a prolific writer. TGD allows us to see his journey and experience it. If you have not read any other of Nouwen's works---read one or two or three of them before you dive into the Genesee Diary. No other contemporary author captures the true Christ as simply and magnificently as Henri Nouwen. For any person in postmodern ministry, Henri Nouwen books are a must have. Be warned. Nouwen will have a life-changing effect on you.
Spirtual Guide that Made an Impression  Jan 6, 2003
Have you ever wondered how a monk deals with everday life? This book is written in diary format and is very easy to read. Henri speaks honestly from his heart of the joys and tribulations of monastic life. I found that I'm not alone with alot of the thoughts I have...Henri has had them too.
Once I started reading this diary I couldn't hardly put it down!
Definately one of the better books I have read in a long time.
Also very profound remarks in this book. I'm sure I'll be reading it again.
Fascinating Look Inside a Monastery  Jun 1, 2002
Henri Nouwen's diary recounts his 7-month stay at the Abbey of Genesee in New York. His diary is a personal account of his search for peace and total committment to God. It accurately depicts the regimen of life in the monastery - a life of work, prayer, and liturgy - and describes how he became a member of the monastic community.

Through his time there, Nouwen discovers that the monastery is not built to solve problems, but to praise God in the midst of them.


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