Reading from Spirituality of Living: Preface & Discipline and
Discipleship (p 13-18)
Reading from Spirituality of Homecoming: Preface & Home in the Heart (p 12-14)
A warm welcome to each of you at this very special time of year. Once again we anticipate the gathering together of a beautiful community of people. We gather to help each other focus our hearts and minds on Jesus, and grow closer to Him during Advent and beyond. Our guide on this journey is Henri Nouwen, as we reflect on his books and legacy.
We are excited to explore two very complimentary books from the Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series: The Spirituality of Living and The Spirituality of Homecoming. As we do, we remember John M. Mogabgab who so lovingly and skillfully brought these books together from Henri’s unpublished materials.
Before we jump in, it is always helpful to provide some information on how this online discussion flows. Each Sunday you will discover a new “post,” indicated by the bold title, on the blog’s Home page. This post will have discussion questions based around the week’s readings. 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 Maureen, Ray or Brynn need to “approve” it, so it may take a few hours before it actually appears on the blog page. If you have any further questions about how the blog works, please feel free to ask.
After that long introduction, we would love to hear from you!
1) Please introduce yourself to the group. You may choose to share:
a) Your general geographic location
b) To whom or what you dedicate your days and energy, and why
c) Whether or not you’ve participated in previous book discussions, or if you are joining us for the first time
2) In the reading from “Living,” Henri poses the question “how can we be in touch with the Spirit, hear the voice of the Spirit, and allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit?” (P14). He then invites us to consider the need for discipline, which he simply defines as “the effort to create some space in which God can act” (p 16).
a) How specifically might you create some space for God to act this advent? A space where you can hear, feel and experience the Spirit of God, and respond? If you’d like to, please share your intentions with us.
3) In “Homecoming” Henri writes, “A listening heart therefore means a heart in which we stand open to God with all we are and have. That is a great act of trust and confidence.” It is an act that that requires moving beyond our fears and the distractions of modern life.
a) Can you anticipate how fears and distractions might block you on your journey home to the heart to meet with God? If you are comfortable, share what you discover.
These questions are meant to help get our discussion going, but please do not feel bound to them. You are free to share whatever comes up for you in the readings.
We look forward connecting with you all this week!
Ray and Brynn