Feb 25th to Mar 3rd: Sections 6 – 10

Reading:  sections 6-10, The Road to Daybreak

Last week was a truly amazing week of thoughtful, honest and thought-provoking sharing. A sincere thanks to each of you who shared.  We also like to always remember the many folks who are journeying along with us, but may be be less active in the comments.  We are grateful for your presence too!

We have before us another wonderful group of readings, with much to ponder.

1_In this section Henri continues to ponder “the journey of leaving everything behind for Jesus’ sake” (p71), and the growing awareness that “God wants my whole life, not just part of it” (p73).  He encourages us to “trust that true freedom lies hidden in total surrender to God’s love” (p74).
a) Henri describes the “voice” in him that tells him not to give his whole life to Jesus (see p71).  Is there a similar voice speaking in you?
b) Hot heeding that voice, Henri seeks to understand how he can bring Jesus truly to the centre of his life.  Fr. George answers “Be faithful in your adoration” (p71).  Why do you think this discipline opens up the life to full surrender to God?

2_ Forgiveness is an important theme in this week’s reading.  He writes, “I learned afresh that friendship requires a constant willingness to forgive each other for not being Christ and a willingness to ask Christ himself to be the true centre” (p65).  
a) How does Henri’s experience of pain and forgiveness in his friendship with Jonas speak to you?

3_ On page 81, Père André encourages Henri to “keep a careful eye on the difference between urgent things and important things.”
a) Is it clear in your own heart and life, the difference between the urgent things and the important things?  Which ones get most of your attention?
b) Do you know someone who consistently chooses the important things?  What do their decisions look like?  What does their life look like?
c) How can we start to make the shift from urgent to important?

4_ Henri was struck by Jean’s words “Jesus always leads us to littleness” (p88).
a) What does it mean to choose the way of “littleness”?  What does it not mean?
b) How is it that through this littleness, Jesus can bring about much fruit? (p89).

Again, you’ll find throughout Henri’s entries many other insights and pieces of wisdom he gains from the people around him.  Please feel free to share what stood out to you.


Ray and Brynn

Feb 18th to 24th: Sections 1-5

Reading: sections 1-5, The Road to Daybreak

Thank you for all the wonderful introductions last week!  It is always good to learn a little bit about you.  This week we jump into the text, and there is much to reflect upon.  We will provide a few questions to help get the discussion going, but please don’t feel bound to them.  This is an opportunity to share and discuss what came up for you in the readings.  Perhaps you’ll want to share from your own journey of discernment.

1) Early on Henri grounds this book and his journey in the name of Jesus.  “In his name I am called to live.  His name has to become my house, my dwelling place, my refuge, my ark.  His name has to start telling the story of being born, growing up, growing old, and dying – revealing a God who loved us so much that he sent his only child to us” (p9).
a) How can the name of Jesus “become my house, my dwelling place, my refuge, my ark”?  What do you think that means?
b) What does the Bible say about the name of Jesus?
c) How does living in the name of Jesus reveal God to others?

2) As he begins to reflect on his process of discernment, Henri refers to the story of the rich young man (Mark 10:21-22).  He wonders “how different his life would have been had he been free enough to follow Jesus” (p15).
a) Are you free enough to follow Jesus?
b) If we aren’t currently free enough to follow Jesus, what can we do ?  What might we pray?  What would be a first step?

3) We often think about following Jesus as leaving everything behind and doing something new, but Henri reminds us that it can be just as hard to follow Jesus by “staying home,” by staying where God has put you and being faithful there (p46).  
a) Are you called to “stay”?
b) What does it look like for you to live in the name of Jesus where you are right now?

4) Throughout the readings you will find numerous gifts and insights that Henri received from the persons with intellectual disabilities he encountered in L’Arche.  
a) Please feel free to share any stories that stood out to you or impacted you.

Following up on question number four, it seems to be a good time to say that your comment doesn’t have to be perfect, profound or polished.  You are not being evaluated based on your comment.  We just want to hear what God is speaking to your heart.

We very much look forward to hearing from each of you in the week ahead!  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Ray and Brynn

Feb 14th to 17th – Introductions

Lord, show me where you want me to go, and I will follow you.”
Henri Nouwen
Road to Daybreak

Reading:  Prologue

A very warm welcome to each you!  We’re really glad you are here.

We have felt a particular energy and excitement from you all, leading up to this Lenten discussion of Henri Nouwen’s Road to Daybreak.  To be honest we are particularly energized about it as well.  Before us is the story of how God, responding to Henri’s prayer, led him to a very specific place and vocation.  Henri, despite many fears and questions, responded in obedience.  And the journey bore much fruit.  We’re all here because some part of us also wants to take the next step of obedience in the journey God is leading us on.  That’s very exciting!

But before we get too far into it, if you are joining us for the first time, you probably want to know how this all works.  If you’ve joined us before, you’ll know the format:

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 Will, Ray or Brynn 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 how the blog works, please feel free to ask.  You can submit a comment in order to ask a question.

To get started, we always like to learn a little bit about each of you.  Over the next few days we invite you to take a few minutes 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 Prologue.
e) What you hope to experience during this discussion

We very much look forward to hearing from each of you!

Be sure to check back here on the Home page on Sunday February 18th!

In gratitude,

Brynn and Ray

RAY GLENNON: Ray volunteers in his parish Confirmation program and other ministries. He and his wife are members of a Catholic charismatic community. 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.  If you have any questions for Ray, please contact him at ray.glennon@1972.usna.com and you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/@RayGlennon.

BRYNN LAWRENCE: Brynn has been helping to preserve Henri’s Legacy over the last several years, mainly through her role as project coordinator of the Nouwen Archive Letter Project (2009-2015), and also by co-facilitating many of our online book discussions.  She is the founder of Abundant Life Coaching, but has taken a break from that since her son was born.  Currently, Brynn is also involved with L’Arche International.