Item description for The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers by Henri J. Nouwen...
Overview The modern classic that interweaves the solitude, silence, and prayer of the fourth- and fifth-century Egyptian Desert Fathers and Mothers with our contemporary search for an authentic spirituality
Citations And Professional Reviews The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers by Henri J. Nouwen has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 03/01/2009 page 63
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Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996) is the author of Reaching Out, The Wounded Healer, Making All Things New, The Return of the Prodigal Son, and many other bestsellers. He taught at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Notre Dame before becoming the senior pastor of L'Arche Daybreak in Toronto, Canada, a community where men and women with intellectual disabilities and their assistants create a home for one another.
Reviews - What do customers think about Way Of The Heart?
Satisfied Nov 5, 2006
I was very happy with my purchase. The book came quickly and was in excellent condition
Excellent read, great book Jun 6, 2006
Short, simple, easy to read in the typical Nouwen fashion, and yet when you are finished, you can not help but feel refreshed, energized, and re-awakened to that "tiny whispering sound" referred to in 1 Kings 19:12. This is an excellent book about the heart of prayer: standing silent in the presence of God. There is a lot of noise out there, and this book shows how to leave the noise outside, how to instill the silence of presence to God in your soul, and how to carry that out to the marketplace, where the message of the Gospel so needs to be heard.
Retreat planning tool Mar 16, 2006
This book was recommended prior to a spiritual growth retreat. All retreat members read the book and were very pleased with the information. It is easy to get caught up in the noise and confusion of the world forgetting how important and valuable solitude and silence are to a relationship with God. In those quiet times come rich growth. This was a great reminder.
Three Practices that Bring Life Aug 27, 2005
In this book Henri Nouwen takes us through three often-neglected disciplines in our noisy, busy, fast-paced culture. He not only encourages us to take some time to turn from the noise to silence, from the busyness to solitude, and from running fast to slowing down to pray; but he shows us how.
When it comes to solitude, Henri defines it beautifully: "Solitude is the place of purification and transformation, the place of the great struggle and the great encounter..." He talks about how this is a time when we stand alone before a holy God, bare-naked. That is the struggle, to come to God honestly. To encounter this wholly other God who is wholly other in his holiness, grace and love. And as we accept his love and grace, we can boldly come before him and stand in his presence naked and unashamed.
Then he goes on to talk about silence. "First, silence makes us pilgrims. Secondly, silence guards the fire within. Thirdly, silence teaches us to speak." We live in a world of words and silence enables us to hear the voice of God, so that we can breath life into those around us by our careful choice of words. He talks about how as ministers we can give time for silence in our counseling, bringing people to Jesus, waiting for the Spirit's direction.
And when it come to prayer, Henri says, "The prayer of the heart opens the eyes of the soul to the truth of ourselves as well as to the truth of God. The prayer of the heart challenges us to hide absolutely nothing."
We all need help in developing these three disciplines: silence, solitude and prayer in our noisy, busy and fast-paced society. Henri reminds us of the importance of these disciplines and gives us some practical help in how to live them out in real life.
Execellent exegesis of the basics of Desert Spirituality Jul 14, 2005
Nouwen hits the core of the Desert movement by reducing the Desert's call and emphasis to the foundation of Solitude, Silence, and Prayer. Nouwen's clear yet piercing style hits the reader in the heart, precisely how the early Desert Fathers were hit, and challenges us to withdraw from our highly constructed world, into a world of simplicity and intimacy with Christ Jesus.
The most helpful insight to me is the exposure and attack against the "false self." Nouwen, quoting several Desert writers, explains that solitude and silence removes a person's "audience," and thus his temptation to act, perform, compete, and basically "show-off." Another helpful insight is the way Nouwen explains that the Desert monks were not running way from ministry but rather running into God. It was only then could the character and wisdom of God be evidenced by such Desert Fathers as Anthony.
This little book is great for all audiences but perhaps it is especially helpful to pastors, preachers, and ministers who are serving "in their own strength." They are the primary targets of the call to solitude, silence and prayer. Yet they probably suffer more for a lack of all three.