Journey With Us This Lent

We are so pleased and grateful to welcome back Brynn Lawrence and Ray Glennon as co-facilitators for our upcoming book discussion on Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. We hope you will join us from February 18th to April 5th as we explore and reflect on the three parts of Henri’s encounter with Rembrandt’s painting: “The Younger Son”, “The Elder Son” and “The Father”. Please note that we have had to change our initial choice of Home Tonight to The Return of the Prodigal Son. We encourage those who already have Home Tonight to work through that either on your own or in conjunction with The Return of the Prodigal Son; these two books are deeply complementary.

We invite you to participate in this Lenten journey with us in any way that is comfortable and spiritually nourishing for you. There are no requirements, no registration, no obligation for you to post. You may prefer to keep a journal this Lent or gather friends in a ‘face to face’ group. This is a worldwide community of compassionate and thoughtful readers and seekers who desire to deepen their experience of Lent and to connect with and support others on the road home.

So, find your copy of The Return of the Prodigal Son and return to this blog on February 18th. Brynn and Ray will introduce themselves, invite you to do the same and then they will post some questions for reflection. New questions will be posted here each Sunday and you will find the link to the reading schedule on the top navigation bar of this page.

To purchase Henri Nouwen’s books in Canadian dollars, please click here.

To purchase Henri Nouwen’s books in the UK, please click here.

Questions? Call toll-free 1-866-226-2158 or write to:

Many blessings,

Maureen's signature

M.E. Wright
Nouwen Legacy Manager


Our Lenten discussion is now underway.  You can find the newest post by scrolling to the top of this page, and clicking on the “Home” tab – which you will find directly below the image.

The comments section for Journey With Us This Lent  is closed.

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65 Responses to Journey With Us This Lent

  1. Brynn Lawrence says:

    Hi Everyone!

    The book discussion has officially started, so please come on over to our newest post and introduce yourself! You can find the newest post by scrolling to the top of this page, and clicking on the “Home” tab – which you will find directly below the large image.

    This post will now be closed.



  2. Colette McGovern says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I am looking forward to this study ~ my favorite!
    I am doing the Spiritual Exercises right now but feel that this study will mesh beautifully with my journey.
    It will be wonderful to see your posts!
    Manoy Blessings,

    • Colette McGovern says:


  3. Laurie says:

    I will be trying to join in. This is my first time doing something like this!
    I read The Return of the Prodigal Son ~20 years ago, after a friend shared Can You Drink this Cup, with me. I live north of Chicago with my husband and two young kids. They are why this format may work for me as getting out for a book club is easier said than done.

  4. Sheila says:

    This is my first time to join this study group. I read “The Return of the Prodigal Son” about eight years ago. I was going through a very painful time, and it brought me much comfort and insight. I am looking forward to reading it again with this study group format.

    I live in Benton, Arkansas, and have been a Nouwen fan for about eight years.


  5. Judith Bacon says:

    Have loved reading Henri Nouwen for years. Purchased the RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON quite some time ago, but have never read. Am looking forward to doing so with this group. I am a 77 year-old quadriplegic living in Florida, but do have a very active life, so it will take discipline to have the time for this. Hope to keep up with everyone. Nouwen’s writing is so good for the soul and to be nourished this way during Lent is a blessing. Thank you.

  6. Marti says:

    What a pleasant and unexpected surprise of the book change. I wasn’t aware until this morning, and now the Holy Spirit has led me to add one more thing to my Lenten journey this year.

    I live in the NW Washington State. My time and energy is devoted to my work in the Mortgage lending field, and to my 9 year old son and husband.

    On two occassions, I have started this book but have yet to finish it. His insights often left me in awe of things that had never occurred to me before, especially in the different perspectives of the Father, the wayward son, and the older son. I participated in last year’s lenten study. I look forward to studying this book with all of you.

    This book is significant because knowing how much God loves me, and welcomes me home every time I wander is so fundemental to my faith, yet something I often forget. I recently read a comment by St. Francis of Assisi that became my theme this lent, and this study will fit perfectly.

    “Remember, you are what you are in the eyes of God, and nothing else.”

  7. Gerry Lockhart says:

    Finally the day has arrived, Ash Wensday and our book study.
    I am a Beloved daughter of God in whom He is well pleased….and I long to deepen my relationship with my Father. I live in Florence Kentucky. This book was recomended
    To me by my Doctor, (arthritis). I have a beautiful poster on the wall in our living room
    Where I gaze at it often during my day. This book and poster has brought me much joy
    And I am anxious to study it with this group. Thank you for offering this study. Gerry

  8. Cathy says:

    I am joining this blog, for the first time, from Ontario Canada. My prayer for this season of Lent is that I may draw closer to Jesus and experience the same Homecoming That the prodigal son felt. I am looking forward to this weekly study and revisiting This parable of forgiveness and love.

  9. Claudia says:

    I am very excited to be on this journey during Lent this year. I am waiting to see what God has for each of us.

  10. Chris Harker says:

    Today we begin. I have looked forward to this day since the turn of the New Year, hearing of the plans of this shared reading. I have read it once before with a dear friend of mine. She is now gone, but not before teaching me about the unconditional love of the Father. I dedicate this Lenten journey to Sylvia and borrow from her strength to be faithful to its readings and post. I’m from eastern North Carolina and have lived in Greenville, NC for twenty plus years. I devote most of my attention and energy to my 13 year old daughter, the baby of our litter of four. My husband travels weekly and faithfully gives his all to our family. Our older children are walking their own paths and I mother from afar. At this time of Lent I find myself welcomed home, relieved of burdens lifted, but not sure where, when, and how my life will be as the homecoming party ends. I come to this post quivering with a seed of faith. The perfect remembrance of what I have left behind calls me back to the known pigpens of my past. Yet I long to know, to see, to feel, and to breathe in all that the Father has for me in the unrevealed tomorrows. For this, I embark on this Lenten Journey.

  11. Marsha Schnirring says:

    Joining the group from California, seeking to go deeper spiritually and find rest in my Father’s home.

  12. Liz says:

    Have read the Return of the Prodigal Son in a previous Book Discussion
    Had the privilege of seeing the reproduction of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son at The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia What an Amazing, Inspiring Experience!

  13. Paul Graham says:

    I echo Marsha Daniels’ sentiment for a spiritually enriching journey through Lent as a community.

  14. Caterina Contini says:

    I’m posting from Milan, Italy. This is my first community discussion ever and I’m glad and looking forward to join in.
    I’m married, mother of three (11, 9 and almost 4 years old). I’m a Christian Initiation catechist and am currently preparing a group of children for their Confirmation. Being a catechist for me means planting the seed of God’s love in the children’s hearts.
    I “discovered” Henri Nouwen more than a year ago but actually got to read “The Return of the Prodigal Son” at the beginning of summer last year at a crucial moment in my life, when I thought I had hit the bottom psychologically and spiritually. As I read through it I felt like new oxygen was being blown into me and the blurred mass that oppressed my mind and heart slowly, gradually dissolved as I became more and more aware of God’s loving embrace. Every now and then some clouds still gather and I know I can turn to Henri for enlightenment.
    Actually joining this community is for me a sort of “homecoming” … My spiritual journey started at Niagara Falls in august 1997. I spent three weeks in Toronto doing research for my University thesis on Margaret Laurence’s “A Jest of God” and the day before my flight back to Milan I went to see the Falls. I premise that I was born and raised without any religious education in Holland and I was an atheist at that time, but when I saw the breathtaking natural spectacle of the Falls, I suddenly “knew” that this could not exist by itself, that there had to be a God who created such beauty …. Here for the first time in my life I felt “at home” and I seriously thought of moving to Toronto, which in the end I didn’t do for economical reasons. Since then Toronto has had a special place in my heart and the desire to come back sooner or later has never left me. So now, this community is really like “coming home” to the place where I experienced the First Love of God … even though from a different time zone! But this, I have learned over the years, is another of God’s jests in my life … and I can only thank Him for it!
    After quite a painful psychological and spiritual struggle in the first years after Niagara Falls, my spiritual history is one of ups and downs, studded with “milestones” here and there… Last Advent I started reading Henri’s “Discernment” which has brought me to gain a fuller spiritual understanding of being God’s beloved daughter! And now I’m still following that path …

  15. Patricia says:

    I am looking forward to this Lent and our journey through The Prodigal Son. The website with Henri’s inspirational sayings are the perfect way to begin each day.

  16. Gilly says:

    I am so looking forward to joining again after my Advent 2014 experience -such fellowship and journeying together. I live in England and love our reflection time together with Henri despite the time difference! I shall pray for our learning together at our Ash Wednesday Service this evening in Daventry Northamptonshire

  17. amy says:

    Looking forward to this study! The little bit that I have read so far is amazing! Many Thanks!

  18. Marsha Daniels says:

    Looking forward to the journey through Lent together as a community.

  19. Linda says:

    The Prodigal Son is my favorite bible story. Looking forward to the book discussion throughout the Lenten season. I have also been intrigued with the painting. Thank you.

  20. Claudia says:

    Lent is a special time for me and I am looking forward to sharing it with this group. Let’s see what God have for us.

  21. Bob Brittain says:

    I recently have been diagnosised with cancer and I thought participating in this reflection during Lent would help me maintain a positive approach to this part of our life journey.

    • Ray Glennon says:

      Thanks you for joining us. I hope you will find that we are a welcoming and caring community sharing our journey through life. May this Lenten journey strengthen and comfort you at this difficult time. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Rose says:

      Bob, you might not see me much but I PROMISE that as I am reflecting the eve before Lent after being up Calvary hill many times this year — YOU ARE IN MY PRAYERS!!! We never think it can really hit us or our loved ones — Unknown to me but a Brother in Christ — and you are not alone. I also pray for your medical staff and family. May you gain much strength from the beautiful people I have encountered here in the past.
      I sang that phrase from song all the time for four months………the Forgiveness theme of this book will be so important at this time because you are “carrying enough” …. and priorities certainly do change quickly. GET THROUGH THIS and INTO REMISSION…… Jesus, we trust in you!


      • Bob Brittain says:

        Thank you Ray and Rose for your prayerful support.
        Reflecting on your words Rose, currently I see myself at the foot of the hill not knowing what lies ahead, but in my heart knowing whatever the journey, Jesus is walking with me, as I know he has since I was 13 years old. I am married to my best friend (of 45 years) who is walking this new part of our life journey with me, as always, and I have the prayerful support of family and friends, and now the prayerful support of sisters and brothers in Christ that I have never met. Thank you. I am putting my trust in the healing love of Jesus. I am looking forward to this Lenten journey with all of you.

  22. Anne Winters says:

    I don’t have a website, but I would like to take part in this Lenten Book discussion on Henri Nouwen’s book, The Return of the Prodigal Son. I read it several years ago, but would like to re-read and be part of this discussion.

  23. Irena says:

    I am looking forward to reading and reflecting on this book. I am working in L’Arche. My journey here reminds me of the story of prodigal son. A long time ago I read this book in Ukrainian. Now I am very excited to read it in English, being in L’Arche community. May our journey during Lent be meaningful, restful in God’s embrace. Irena

  24. Phil says:

    Return of the Prodigal Son was my first book group via the Nouwen Society. I love this book – I buy it for friends/ colleagues when they move on: it has been bought a few times! I am really looking forward to reading and reflecting on it again. I’ve also bought a copy of Home Tonight as the Prodigal has become my favourite story of Jesus. When we re-ordered our school chapel I had the large poster (that Henri refers to early in the book) installed in my office. As a headteacher I have frequently used this image with young people; they are intrigued by the dark and light and the hands!
    Looking forward to reading the response of the community here.
    God bless

  25. tricia says:

    This book was given to me tonight at dinner. I have been a caretaker for the last eleven years starting with my fiancee, my mom and my dad. All three have gone to their final resting place. I am so looking forward to this Lenten journey with this blog. GOD bless…..and thank you…

  26. Rodolfo says:

    Should we start reading the book before lent starts? Is there a discussion guide?

  27. Michael Kenning says:

    I just received my copy of ” The Return of the Prodigal Son” and I am very interested to reflect on the book with you from here in Ireland and I am trusting that it will make Lent a more meaningful & significant time.

  28. Michelle says:

    Have the book, Looking forward to joining all of you.. I work 3 day weekends, 40 hours in 3 days , so I don’t get much fellowship outside of work, so this will be a treat!

  29. Ann Corker says:

    This is my first time joining this journey. Thanks for offering this.

  30. Lata Hall says:

    So glad to be back with the group again. I have my book and I have started to read it. Henri Nouwen writes so openly and with all his heart in it, that it is often hard to put the book down. Thank You, and God bless you all. Lata

  31. Peg says:

    Looking forward to this, please remind me.

  32. Theresa Stinson says:

    Looking forward to the book discussion-“Return of the Prodigal Son”…, please send me a reminder.
    Blessings, Theresa Stinson

    • Hi Theresa,
      Welcome – glad you will be joining us! I am posting on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and will send out another eblast to our subscribers to remind them about the discussion. How did you learn about it?
      Nouwen Legacy Manager

  33. Laura says:

    I would love to join in this! i have just purchased a copy and began reading “Return of the prodigal son” by Nouwen and so this is wonderful timing for me!

  34. Charles says:

    Thanks for setting up another book study! I always enjoy these. I ordered a copy of Home Tonight which is fine with me, as I did not have a copy and will enjoy going through it. I will really enjoy going through the Prodigal Son again as too often I have to go through this material a second time to get a deeper understanding of what Henri Nouwen is saying to us. So thanks for the choice in books here. I am looking forward to the discussion.

    • Hello Charles,
      Welcome back and thanks for your understanding about the change in book choice. There was a concern about supply so we thought it best to make a change to avoid any potential disappointment about not receiving the book in time, or at all. Looking forward to this Lenten journey with friends new and old!
      Nouwen Legacy Manager

  35. Trudie M Tumber says:

    I Would Like To join

  36. Mary says:

    I would like to join.

  37. Gerry Lockhart says:

    What a wonderful opportunity I will certainly partake in this journey of love.
    Gerry Lockhart

  38. Dara Westby says:

    What a wonderful way to lead up to Easter. Please sign me up!

  39. Pat Thornton says:

    I would like to join! I do not have a website or my own blog so I don’t know how to participate but would like to take part! Email is about as techy as I get !

    • Hello Pat,

      What you are doing now is all you need to know how to do to participate in our online discussion! Welcome – look forward to ‘seeing’ you during Lent!

      Nouwen Legacy Manager

  40. I’d like to join. Sounds wonderful – thanks. Will you send reminders? If so, I’d appreciate one.

    Gail Kittleson

    • Welcome Gail! I will be sending reminders via Facebook and Twitter each Sunday when Brynn and Ray have posted reflection questions.
      Nouwen Legacy Manager

  41. Sweet, a fast from “the tyranny of the urgent” into the Father’s arms, what could be more refreshing? };-)

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