“I hope and pray that you who read these meditations will discover
many connections with your own spiritual journey…”
Here and Now, Preface
A warm welcome to each of you at this very special time of year. As always, a beautiful community of people will gather together—old friends returning for another fruitful discussion and new friends joining us for the first time. We’re glad you’ve decided to journey through Advent with us. We’ll have a wonderful opportunity to learn, connect and grow during this time.
This Advent we’re reading and discussing Henri’s Here and Now, Living in the Spirit. In the Preface Henri says he, “didn’t try to write a new book, but to meditate on life as I am trying to live it.” Nouwen archivist and editor Gabrielle Earnshaw writes, “Here and Now is Henri Nouwen’s statement of faith. It covers almost everything he ever thought and experienced about the Christian spiritual life.”
Henri’s meditations may be more relevant now than when they were first published in 1994. Today our society is busier, noisier, more competitive, and less personal than it was then, making it more urgent that we choose to slow down, to reflect, and to find the peace that only the Lord can give by living in the present and in the spirit. This Advent, with Henri as our guide, we will seek to do just that.
But before we get started, let’s briefly describe how the discussion works. If you’ve joined us before, this will serve as review:
Each Sunday you will discover a new “post,” indicated by the bold title, on the blog’s Home page. Click on the title to enter the post. There you will find the week’s readings and some questions for discussion. To leave a comment scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find the “leave a reply” box. It works best if you always add any new comment to the newest post, even if you are referring to an earlier post. That way, everyone will see your comment. After you submit a comment, either Ray as moderator or Will at the Nouwen Society need to “approve” it, so it may take a few hours before it actually appears on the blog page. The instructions on how to submit and reply to comments are also included at the bottom of the reading schedule. If you have any questions about the blog, please feel free to ask. To ask a question you can submit a comment or send Ray an email at the address in his bio below.
As we begin our journey together, it’s always nice to learn a little bit about each of you. Over the next few days you are invited to introduce yourself. You may choose to share:
a) Your general geographic location
b) To whom or what you dedicate your days or energy, and why
c) How you came to “know/read” Henri Nouwen and whether or not you participated in a previous discussion.
d) Insights, thoughts or questions that arose as you read the Preface.
e) What you hope to experience during this discussion
I’m very much look forward to hearing from each of you!
Our discussion starts in earnest this Sunday, December 2nd!
RAY GLENNON: Ray volunteers in his parish Confirmation program and other ministries. He and his wife are members of a Catholic charismatic community and they are in formation for the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS). Ray came to know and trust Henri’s written word in a special way in 2004 when he found The Return of the Prodigal Son for sale after Mass at the cathedral in Singapore at an important point in his life. You may contact Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/@RayGlennon.