Announcing a Very Special Online Book Discussion for September!

Regrettably, it was necessary to select a title other than the one announced previously. We apologize for the inconvenience.

It’s not our habit to host a book discussion during the month of September.  However, as we are commemorating and celebrating the life of Henri Nouwen throughout the year, we thought it would be particularly appropriate to offer an additional online book discussion to mark the 25th anniversary year of his death.

Our book selection is equally appropriate.  The featured Henri Nouwen book for the month will be Beyond the Mirror: Reflections on Death and Life.

Henri aptly describes the intent and tone of the book in the publication’s prologue: “This little book is a spiritual story about an accident, one that I suffered myself. I have written it because I had no choice. My accident brought me to the portal of death and led me to a new experience of God. Not writing about it would have been unfaithful to my vocation to proclaim the presence of God at all times and in all places… Since I have returned to health and am able to tell my story, I feel that this interruption, which could have been my last, gave me a new knowledge of God that contrasted radically with what I had learned so far.”

In hospital and facing surgery, Nouwen comes face-to-face with the shortcomings, the fears, the rejections, and the grudges that have haunted him throughout his life. Yet, while on the brink of stepping into the next life, he experienced only “peace, joy, and an all-pervading sense of security.” As he recovered and began to rediscover his old self, Henri started to question whether our eagerness to hold on to life doesn’t conflict with the most essential aspect of our spiritual being: “to be gone and to be with Christ.” (Phil 1: 23)

This is a wonderful read for everyone who struggles with understanding death, life… and faith.

“This is not a book of easy answers as to why accidents happen. Instead, Nouwen’s story reveals God as one who will use these interruptions in life to show us that, being anchored in His love, we are free to escape the compulsions of this world.” —New Oxford Review

Please plan to join us on Wednesday, September 1st for greetings and introductions. Then beginning on Sunday, September 5th, we’ll dive into Nouwen’s thoughtful and unique reflections on death and life before concluding on September 26th.

Facilitated by Ray Glennon, our Henri Nouwen Book Discussion can be a special and significant way to enrich your life – and your late summer reading! We do hope you will join us.

No registration is necessary. Simply join us on this page in September.

A reading schedule will be posted prior to the start of the book 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.

Please note: September 21, 2021, is the 25th anniversary of Henri Nouwen’s death. It is also the day that the Henri Nouwen Society will be hosting a very special online tribute to the life and legacy of this remarkable man called Remembering Henri: The Gifts of a Fruitful Life. (You can learn more about it on our website This free global webinar will be a fitting complement to our very special September book discussion.

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10 Responses to Announcing a Very Special Online Book Discussion for September!

  1. Jean H says:

    Is there a time assigned for the meeting?

  2. Arlene Chee Foon says:

    Thank you for this opportunity to join in. Looking forward to participating.

  3. Pang Shen says:

    I am interested

  4. Christine Lai says:

    It is great to have this discussion as I read the book years ago. I am deeply involved now in spiritual care for midlife to ageing and end of life in Hong Kong. Looking forward to this discussion and have a deeper reflection on life and death.

    Please let me have the guidance of joining the discussion. Thanks

    • Hi Christine,

      Glad you are intending to join us. Click on the September 2021 Reading Schedule in the black bar beneath the photo at the top of this page. There’s a short section on “How to submit and reply to comments.” That will tell you everything you need to know.

      Things get underway with greetings and introductions on Wednesday, September 1. The discussion starts the following Sunday. You can comment at anytime during the week.

  5. Kaye Hurn says:

    I am so looking forward to reading this book, and this discussion.

  6. mimi says:

    I was looking forward to this book discussion, ordered and just received my book, Our Greatest Gift.
    Can you share why you have changed the book?

    • Hello Mimi,
      Sorry for the inconvenience you went through. I’m certain you will still enjoy “Our Greatest Gift”. Regrettably, we were unable to feature it for this particular discussion. Perhaps sometime in the future. Apologies.

  7. Sue Richardson says:

    This looks wonderful! Thank you for putting it together. What time on Sept. 1st, and on the following Sundays?

    • It’s a moderated discussion, meaning Ray Glennon (our facilitator) will post all comments as soon as he’s had a chance to review them. The discussion is ongoing throughout each week (between new discussion questions being posted each Sunday), so you can read and respond to questions/comments at your convenience. Be sure to join us for greetings and introductions on September 1st. You’ll quickly get a sense of how everything operates – and how easy it is.

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