Reading: “Love, Henri” – Preface, Foreword and Note from the Editor
I hope and pray that the Lord will deepen our faith during these weeks of Advent and will fill us with a peace and joy which belong to his kingdom. Hope is not optimism and I pray that we all will be able to live hopefully in the midst of our apocalyptic time. We have a promise and God is faithful to His promise even when we are doubtful and fearful. As Paul says: ‘Our hope is not deceptive because the Holy Spirit has already been poured into us.’ I wish you … a very blessed Christmas. Keep me in your prayers. I pray for you.
The warmest of welcomes to you! We are so glad you’ve decided to join the group as we journey through Advent together. If this is your first time joining an online book discussion you may be wondering how it all works. We’ll get into the details in a minute, but for now rest assured you will have a wonderful opportunity to learn, connect and grow during this time. Most importantly, Henri never fails to remind us to turn our eyes upon Jesus. Which is what we hope to do together as we prepare to celebrate His birth this Christmas.
We have chosen the book Love, Henri – Letters on the Spiritual Life for our discussion this Advent. It is a recently published collection of letters written by Henri Nouwen to close friends, colleagues and even strangers. In some ways this book is dramatically different then a book written by Henri on a particular topic. For one thing, it is much longer and, for that reason, we will read and discuss the first half of the book during our Advent journey and the remainder in a future discussion. More importantly, similar to his books, through these letters Henri both models for us, and specifically instructs us on how to draw deeper into the heart of Jesus.
We have selected a set of letters for each of the three main weeks in Advent (see reading schedule). 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 letters. 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 further questions about how the blog works, please feel free to ask.
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’ve participated in a previous discussion
d) Insights you gained in reading the Preface, Forward, and Editor’s note
e) What you hope to experience during this Advent discussion
We very much look forward to hearing from each of you!
Be sure to check back here on the Home page on November 27th!
Ray and Brynn
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 email@example.com and you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/@RayGlennon.
BRYNN LAWRENCE: Brynn has been helping to preserve Henri’s Legacy for the last several years, mainly through her role as project coordinator of the Nouwen Archive Letter Project, and also by co-facilitating many of our online book discussions. Brynn is the founder of Abundant Life Coaching. If you have any questions for Brynn, please feel free to contact her through her website.