“You have something to say,” a friend told Henri Nouwen, “but you keep saying it to people who least need to hear it.”
The gentle critique came from Fred Bateman, a secular Jew living a busy, harried life in New York city. Henri’s books had become immensely popular with Christians from every denomination. But if his readers already understood and related to Henri’s spirituality, wasn’t he simply preaching to the choir?
“What about us young, ambitious, secular men and women wondering what life is all about after all?” Fred asked. “Can you speak to us with the same conviction as you speak to those who share your tradition, your language, and your vision?”
Despite his initial hesitancy, Henri became convinced that he could. The result is one of the most popular and accessible spiritual books of our time: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World.
Please plan to join us this Advent for the Henri Nouwen Online Book Discussion as we delve into this inspirational meditation on living a spiritual life in a stressful and, at times, frightening world.
We begin on Wednesday, November 25th for greetings and introductions. Then beginning Sunday, November 29th we’ll journey through Advent discussing and sharing insights gleaned from this ageless, yet very timely, book.
Written in a manner that Henri hoped Fred and his friends could understand, Nouwen shares his conviction that each of us, regardless of our religious conviction, is beloved by God. The most important spiritual journey of our lives involves claiming the truth of that belovedness.
Facilitated by Ray Glennon, the Advent online book discussion is a wonderful way to enhance and give meaning to Advent and to your Christmas preparations. We do hope you will join us. And please invite the Freds in your life to join us as well!
A reading schedule will be posted prior to the start of the discussion.
Need a copy of the book? It is available at many bookstores, or you can order it online through the Bookstore tab in the menu bar above.