June 28th to July 4th: Welcome and Introductions

Reading:  Foreword by Wendy Wilson Greer and Preface by Sue Mosteller
(Note: The complete Reading Schedule is available by following the link in the navigation bar located directly below the photo at the top of the page.)

A very warm welcome to each of you–friends who have journeyed with us before and those joining us for the first time.  You will find here, in the weeks ahead, a wonderful group of seekers who encourage each other in their desire after the heart of God.  This summer we will be reading and discussing Finding My Way Home: Pathways to Life and the Spirit, a collection of four short Henri Nouwen essays  that complement each other wonderfully.  I’m glad that you will be joining us as we follow Henri’s lead on this spiritual journey.

Those of you that have participated before already know how rich and rewarding the exchange of ideas within our online community can be. If you are a newcomer, rest assured that your appreciation of this book will be deepened by the comments and insights shared among this welcoming group.   As the facilitator my role is to prepare a space and scatter a few seeds that, when joined with the seeds sown by each of you and nurtured by the group, will grow into a rich and fruitful exchange among a special and caring community.

Here is how we will proceed.  Each Sunday a new “post” will be added to the blog’s homepage that will include a title shown in bold, a reminder of the reading being discussed that week, and a brief reflection with several questions that may help to get our discussion started.  You can then add your comments to the post for the current week and reply to the comments posted by others.   What you share in your comments is totally up to you.  You may choose to respond to one or more of the questions, to share your reflections on the reading, or to comment more broadly from your life’s experience.  And if you would be more comfortable participating by reading along  and reflecting on the comments of others without posting yourself, that is fine as well.  Always click on the ‘comments’ link immediately below the current post (i.e., the first one you come to at the top) to leave your comment.  In this case, it is immediately below Ray’s brief bio.  Note:  To leave a “new comment” (i.e., not a reply to an existing comment by someone), scroll to the bottom of all existing comments to the “comment box” and enter your new comment there. 

Please note that when comments are submitted they are held for moderation so it may be a few hours before you see your comment posted.   If you have any questions about how to use the blog, please feel free ask.  You may contact me at ray.glennon@1972.usna.com or Maureen at admin@henrinouwen.org.

With that background out of the way, let’s get started!    You are invited to introduce yourself and to reflect on the Foreword and Preface.  In your introduction you may choose to share:

  1. Your general geographic location
  2.  To whom or what you dedicate your days and energy, and why
  3. Whether you’ve participated in previous book discussions, or if you are joining us for the first time.  For the first-timers, how did you learn about this book discussion?
  4. In the Foreword Wendy Wilson Greer writes, “Our journey, then, is a journey to discover the perfect love that only God can give us.”  What might “finding my way home” mean to you in the current stage of your life and spiritual journey.

I look forward to hearing from each of you as we share this wonderful book together.

Peace and all good,


RAY GLENNON: Ray is a lifelong Catholic who lives in Columbia, Maryland and is active as a lector and in his parish Confirmation and adult faith formation programs. He and his wife are also members of a Catholic charismatic community. Ray first became familiar with Henri’s work over 20 years ago; he 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. Ray has participated in these book discussions since 2010.  You may contact him at ray.glennon@1972.usna.com and you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/@RayGlennon.

116 Replies to “June 28th to July 4th: Welcome and Introductions”

  1. Coming late to the party, but with enthusiasm.

    I am in Colorado, and my journey has already been long and winding and difficult in very many ways. For now, I seek healing from mysterious ailments of long standing, with God’s help, having been led to specialists far from home.

    Part of that healing will be to learn to what degree medicine will be able to alleviate my suffering, and also to discover what limitations will remain, and following upon that, I seek to grow in understanding and acceptance both of my physical life and of my role in ministry.

  2. I am Sallie and live in Singapore and am originally from the UK. I have not joined a study before. I am active in pastoral care I have an intellectually disabled 23year old. Henri Nouwen has truly touched my heart and warmed my soul. He has encouraged me over the years through the Wounded Healer (the reading today) and the Dance for Life! Ministers and Priests have the same wounds and difficulties as us lay people. During difficult moments God shows us glimpses of hope and joy as happened to Nouwen with L’Arche and certainly has in my life with my daughter. Sometimes in the difficult times we grow the most. Nourwen is a tremendous healer for us all as he touches us where we are most vulnerable and walks along side us. I really look forward to taking part in this .. sorry I am a bit late!

  3. As we conclude our first week together and prepare to consider the first of the four “paths” that Henri describes, I want to thank each of you for joining us. Based on a quick review of the comments, we are a global community with participants from the U.S. and Canada as well as England, Germany, Sweden, and Ecuador (writing from England).

    It is fitting that we end our first week with the words of Henri’s friend Sue Mosteller, taken from the Preface: “Finding My Way Home” is an inspiration for the spiritual journey. It names the powers that seduce us to a life of un-fulfilled self-seeking, as well as describing some practical choices to keep us on the path of meaning and faithfulness. To read it is to experience what Henri would call, ‘finding home on the way home.'” Join us starting Sunday as we start that journey on “The Path of Power.”

    For those of you in Canada, a belated Canada Day. And for those in the U.S., I hope you are having a wonderful Independence Day celebration.

    This post is now closed. Please place any future comments on the post for the current week. You can always find the most current post by clicking on the Home tab on the far left in the band immediately beneath the photo at the top of page.


  4. I live in Western Colorado, work as a school nurse and am hoping to retire after finishing the school year. At this point retirement looks both scary and exciting.
    I was “coincidentally” introduced to Henri Nouwen when I was browsing the internet and found the daily emails. Through them I started the online studies about a year and a half ago. After each study I have gained more insight into my relationship with God and find myself looking for news of the upcoming studies so that I can continue on the “path” or get back on the “path.” I feel enriched not only by Henri Nouwen’s words but also all those who write in and share.
    I am a breast cancer survivor of seven months. My diagnosis has caused me to examine many areas in my life. Sometimes I feel like I am on “shifting sand.” I know that I am truly blessed and loved, but there are times when I need to be reminded of that. My prayer is that on my path to home, I will find out what it means to be fruitful.

  5. I am a 59 yr old physical therapist from northern California who attends a Calvary Chapel and who works with and loves debilitated elderly at a skilled nursing facility. I love learning the spiritual truths Henri gleans from God’s beloved handicapped and broken people of our world. This is my third book discussion with you all and it has been exciting to see more and more Nouwen fans join us from around the world!

  6. I am thrilled and feel blessed to participate in this study. Henri Nouwen was introduced to me by my two aunts who are Catholic sisters. Having read and studied Henri’s work for decades, they both agree that his insights are profound and should be read and reread. Summer seems like the perfect time to read Pathways to Life and the Spirit. I am looking forward to Henri’s wisdom to keep my path one of meaning and faith, filled with reminders that God deeply loves me. Thank you.

  7. I am a progressive Christian, ecumenical-leaning, and a spiritual seeker from a Seventh-day Adventist background, who has been reading and growing through Henri Nouwen’s writings for many years. I subscribe to his daily meditation be email and start every work day by reading that, praying, and setting my intention for the day. I’m a licensed therapist in northern California and provide counseling to college students on a Christian campus. I often struggle with staying open and aware of God’s presence in my work, allowing Him to work in healing ways through me, and remembering I can’t do it all without His strength. College students are very invested in a “social gospel” and following a personal God who they see as involved in every aspect of their lives, work, and education. I see this as the essence of spiritual formation and growth–that awareness and response to God’s presence in everything and everyone. To me, “home” is that sense of being spiritually connected to God no matter where we are, and making healthy/healing choices from that quiet center where His Holy Spirit speaks.

    1. “home” is that sense of being spiritually connected to God no matter where we are, and making healthy/healing choices from that quiet center where His Holy Spirit speaks.~ For this I pray, so well said Judy, Thank you!

  8. From Marlin Stanberry

    I am excited at the opportunity to participate in my first study of this type. I live in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri but on the Kansas side of the state line. I have some background in studying Richard Rohr and think I learned of Henri Nouwen through those studies. I am not sure I know how to get to the blog I do have a comment on the Forward. In speaking of journey Nouwen says, “Let us claim the truth that we are loved and open our hearts to receive God’s overflowing love poured out for us.” The next sentence says, “It is so simple! Our journey, then, is a journey to discover the perfect love that only God can give us.” Since “the truth” is that we are loved by God, why the journey? Why do we not accept the obvious and go from there? I am looking forward to the study?

    1. Hi Marlin,

      Thank you for your comments they challenged me.

      My experience of discovering the perfect love of God has been complex and Henry was one of the writers who has helped take me closer to that real experience of presence.

      Signposts on the very winding and long journey have one thing in common. They are all to do with experiencing a mystical unconditional love in the life experiences of what I perceived to be weaknesses in myself . At each signpost key people were with hindsight teaching me aspects of that love by coming alongside without judgement . Henri says we are chosen , accepted broken as we are ,forgiven through Christ ,and our hearts then are opened healed ready to receive God’s love and then in turn when full we can share it in our unique ways.

      I suppose in that process I have appreciated the diversity of gifts God offers us, I found it too in the appreciation of fellowship with others and for me in the beauty of his creation .

      I am beginning to learn how to receive that strengthening love and the Eucharist is one of the places where I encounter it.

      I was a very slow learner spiritually now nearly 70 but the freedom of receiving God’s love at last means that I can trust him in the rest of life to shape me in his will as he waits for all of us to arrive in his presence day after day.

      It’s something I can confidently depend on as I wake each morning whatever the interior weather,

      Thank you again Gilly

      1. Thank you Gilly and Marlin.
        This dialogue is exactly what makes the journey to Oneness easier. I see me in both of you and so many others who choose to share in this amazing opportunity offered by the Nouwen Society.
        Gilly, I too am in my 70th year. I felt your words not just read them~ “Signposts on the very winding and long journey have one thing in common. They are all to do with experiencing a mystical unconditional love in the life experiences of what I perceived to be weaknesses in myself.” I am still struggling with accepting and loving the who that I am ~as my Great Mystery God loves me~ that Love can free me to love others with that same unconditional love that heals all.
        Marlin, I too have learned a great deal from Fr. Rohr. His website and this one along with the 3 Minute Retreat are the mainstay for my starting my day. I too learned about Fr. Nouwen from Richard Rohr. I have attended CAC conferences and grown in so many ways but Henri’s fragile, welcoming words help me feel I am not alone in my vulnerability.
        Reading the words shared by all the kindred spirits comforts me and reinforces my deep knowledge that “whenever two or more are gathered in my name…” I am so very grateful! ~ Kathy

        1. Dear Kathy and Marlin,
          God’s love of all of us and has been present and affirmed in our exchanges. When he gives us courage the courage to trust in him and not be afraid of our human weakness which we can then share unconditionally. Thank you both for your helping me know that presence because I have found it challenging to receive it just as I am .

    2. Marlin,
      Thanks for joining us. You pose a two great questions, “Why the journey?” and the corollary “Why do we not accept the obvious and go from there?” For me the answer is that we are on a “journey” to the acceptance of the obvious–that we are beloved. However, in a world “ruled by diabolic powers” (as we will see in our reading starting on Sunday), our belovedness may not be so obvious, hence the journey. But one of the things about journeying together is that we can point out our belovedness to each other at a time when it may not be so obvious to ourselves.

      Thanks for joining us. And Gilly and Kathy, its great to see you again.


  9. I’m participating from Toronto and this is my first time joining this book discussion. I found out through L’Arche Daybreak. At present, I dedicate my days and energy to my family (wife, kids and dog and not necessarily in that order) and I do this out of necessity but also because it brings me both joy and challenge. “Finding my way home” means cultivating a deeper awareness for the “answering presence” (Douglas John Hall uses this term in his book God and Human Suffering) that resides within me.
    I look forward to journeying with you this summer.

  10. I live ~ an hour south of Houston and am a chemical engineer working in one of the many chemical plants that dot our area. I also have been involved in lay ministry in our church, Vineyard Christian Church, for a decade or more. I came across spiritual formation about 5 years ago when one of our pastors, who had “burned out” in the ministry, found renewal. His name is Charles Bello and wrote “Prayer is a Place (to encounter God)” as an introduction type book for us lay folks to be able to get our hands around. This book had many references to practices developed by our Catholic brothers and sisters over the centuries and led me eventually to encounter Henri Nouwen’s writings.

    First timer. I’m excited about having a group to think “out loud” with!

    Thoughts on this week’s reading: Living in the secular world…how to not be pulled away by the daily grind and sidetracked from this journey home? How to stay on track in relationship with the One who is Love in the midst of pressure, deadlines and stress? I’m so incredibly glad He loves me no matter what!

  11. Greetings everyone! My name is Joni, I am an American civilian working for the US Air Force. Currently living in Germany. My husband of 43 yrs is a retired DoDDS teacher, which translates into teaching children of military and civilan Americans living outside of the United States, for 30 yrs!

    I am a student of Henri for 40+years…his book “With Open Hands” totally changed my approach to prayer.

    Second book discussion for me, first was our Lenten journey with The Return of the Prodigal Son. Like Elaine, I was very blessed by that experience of sharing, was very hard to let go of the connections when we finished. Still keep those folks in my prayers.
    Looking forward to the weeks ahead! Welcome to all our new participants, may each of us be blessed.

    1. Hi Joni,
      I am still so appreciative of your insight and encouragement regarding my letter to my son. It is good to be journeying with you again and this unique community . I look forward to your offerings. Bob Brittain

  12. From Alice

    Hi! I’m looking forward to participating in this book study. I just finished reading “The Prodigal Son”, my first Henri Nouwen book, and now I’m hungry for more. I truly appreciate the opportunity to be part of this group and can’t wait to dive into Finding My Way Home. Blessings!

  13. Good morning,
    The 28th got away from me so I am late in joining. I have never participated in anything online and an looking forward to the discussion. I read many of his books And “Finding my way home” is an appropriate re- entry into spiritual reading at this time. Looking forward to the experience.

  14. I have participated in several of the book discussions during the past 4 or 5 years. Henri Nouwen’s life has impacted me greatly. In this book, will be looking forward to the chapter on his relationship with Adam. I believe, in our culture in the U.S.A. we are embedded in so much talk but much of it does not truly listen to each other and validate the other. Particularly, in the above postings, found inspirational Gloria who is enabling persons with early on-set dementia to study the Bible together, with Elizabeth who shared her taking the downward mobility which Henri Nouwen sets forth very, very seriously. Listening to and loving and respecting people at the margins, as I also feel I am at the margin and yearning to be loved and heard and have a voice too are all very spiritually life-giving to me in this culture which seems to be so competitive, judgmental, exclusionary, polarizing, all the isms–racism, classicism, sexism, etc., etc., etc. My desire is to know more about how Henri and others of his ilk find/found peace and learn and follow that Christian path too. I look forward to continuing to read and benefit from the blog.

  15. Welcome to each of you–whether you have already introduced yourselves or you are following along silently. It’s gratifying to see the tremendous response to the invitation to participate in this discussion. It is a great joy to hear from so many old friends and first-time participants. And based on the heartfelt sharing that is already taking place, we are in for a spirit-filled summer journey together.

    Many of you noted that you subscribe to the Henri Nouwen Society daily meditations from Henri’s Bread for the Journey. Yesterday’s mediation “Coming Home” was particularly timely for this discussion and if you haven’t read it I encourage you to follow this link and take a minute to do so. http://wp.henrinouwen.org/daily_meditation_blog/?p=3866 If you are interested in subscribing to the Daily Meditations, use the “Sign Up for the for the Daily Meditation” link in the right hand column on that page or follow this link: http://www.henrinouwen.org/Contact_Us/Subscribe/Subscribe.aspx

    Once again, thanks for joining us. I look forward expectantly to a deep and rich conversation this summer with Henri as our guide as we are Finding My Way Home.

    As St. Francis said to those he met on his journey, “May the Lord give you peace.”


  16. Hi, I’m Cathy Dempsey. I live in Ohio and I am a legal aid lawyer. I have not participated in one of these book discussion before, but I have read many of Henri Nouwen’s books and I have been deeply enriched and inspired by his writings. I am really looking forward to this discussion.

    1. I live in Texas, DFW area. This is my first time with an online book discussion, looking forward to it. The 28th just kind of crept up on me……. so that’s why this is late. Looking forward to some insight and discussion of Henri’s work.

  17. Hi there. This is my first time participating in one of these Nouwen book discussions. I just moved my family from Indiana to Phoenix, Arizona. This past May I graduated from Spring Arbor University with a Master’s of Arts degree in Spiritual Formation. (I highly recommend this 2-year program to anyone who may be interested in this field of study.) I dedicate my energy to learning about spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. I’m still on a journey to accept the perfect love that God gives. I find it easier to extend that love to others than I do to receive it for myself.

    1. Adam, I know what you mean when you say it is easier to give love than receive it. I often feel the same myself. And then I think about what I have learned from listening to Jesus & Scripture & Henri & others. (My wording) “I have loved you from the foundation of the world. I have loved you from the time I formed you in your mother’s womb. Nothing you can do can make me love you more; nothing you can do can make me love you less. I love you with an everlasting love!” When I think about that, I am overwhelmed; and slowly I begin to believe I can receive God’s immense love for me. God bless you. Gene

  18. I am a Lay Missionary Nurse in Guatemala, C.A. Our Mission was established in 1964 by Archbishop Raymond G Hunthausen, then Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, MT. I have served many years in this Mission, from 1966 to 1983 and returned in 2006. I have always been inspired with Henri Nouwen’s Books and have several of them on my Kindle. I also heard Henri speak on a Pentecost Sunday in the eighties, in Washington D.C. This is my first experience sharing in group discussion and know I will learn and be inspired by others. Thank You. Sheila

  19. Live in Fresno CA. and retired from Probation work. I am coaching a softball team and since retirement enjoying the Psalms and detoxing from a lot of worry and hurry over the years. I have read a few books by Henri Nouwen and always ended up blessed and always felt refreshed, looking forward to this book discussion.

  20. From Gilly Beardmore

    My book has just arrived very quickly and I am thrilled. I have just completed training as a lay reader in the Anglican Church and this book is part of my preparation for licensing in September and the work that follows. Thank you for having me again. I love Henri N’s gift for guiding.
    Best Wishes to you all as we travel together.

  21. Regards to our. I live in Chula Vista CA, about 18 miles south of San Diego. I am retired since 2008 and spend time with my wife and our 4 grown children and 6 grandchildren.

    I nourish my spiritual life though prayer and participation in my parish community, my small home-based Christian community and my weekly Cursillo grouping. I first became acquainted with Henri Nouwen some 40 years ago when I first read “With Open Hands.” Since then, I have read all his books and (more recently) have followed his daily meditations online. I have participated in two other Book Discussions some time ago and am looking forward to studying “Finding My Way Home” with all of you.

    In the Forward, Wendy reminded me of the most important lesson I have learned from Henri in all these years, (I paraphrase) “Every morning as I begin prayer, I claim the truth that I am loved and I open my heart to receive God’s overflowing love poured out for me.”

    That, perhaps more than anything else, has nourished my spiritual life and growth. Gene

    1. “Every morning as I begin prayer, I claim the truth that I am loved and I open my heart to receive God’s overflowing love poured out for me.”
      Thank you Gene~ I too love these words and consider them my morning prayer.
      I pray to be open and willing and aware and grateful. ~ Kathy

  22. From Judith Rowland

    This is my first time to participate in an online book study. I look forward to this discussion and group participation.

  23. From John

    I have read several of Nouwen’s books. I started reading him through our Lay Formation program. A couple of my favorites are Can You Drink This Cup and In the Name of Jesus. Recently read Life of the Beloved as part of a retreat. I live near Dubuque, Iowa.

  24. I live in Dallas, Texas and this is my first time to participate in an online book study.

    I loved Nouwen’s book on the Prodigal Son and just finished a small group study on “Beloved”. I loved loved loved “Beloved” and it touched so many in our small group. One of the members of our group shared The website and daily messages which I have enjoyed. Summer is a difficult time to have a regular weekly meeting with kids out of school and summer vacations and such but I Appreciate a more structured group and the sharing of ideas and impressions from others. It challenges me, encourages me and molds me into a more grace filled and loving person. The person I want to be for our loving God. And so, here I am!

  25. Hi everyone. My wife and relocated back to Fresno, California in 2007. We lived in Nashville, TN for over twenty years and returned to our “home” to care for my parents. I went back to school here at 52 years young and graduated from Fresno Pacific University in 2012 with a Bachelors in Christian Ministry / Leadership where I got deeply connected to Nouwen. I have read and studied maybe a dozen of his books and have been heavily influenced by the depth of his teachings. My father has advanced Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and my Mother (divorced for 40 years) just had aortic anurysm surgery. This has been a very difficult season in my life, but Jesus (and Nouwen) has prepared me for this specific journey. I’m looking forward to following along and participating as time allows. This is definitely not my home but the journey, though sometimes challenging, has been filled with many glimpses of our real home. Peace to all!

  26. I live in Frankfort, KY.
    I currently serve as Pastor at Highland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

    I am not sure how I found out about this discussion, but I am glad I did!
    I have read Nouwen over the years and always find his books to be thoughtful and thought-provoking. I have used several of them in group studies, and I hope to do that with this book this coming fall.
    I read the first chapter several weeks, and need to go back and reread it this week.

    1. Hi Scott
      Active in Disciples for years. Charge of church relations at Drake U. Glad to share this path.

  27. I am from southern California.

    I am going through some transition as my second child of three will be headed off to college this fall. I am seeking to find what God would have for me at this time, where I can share my gifts for Him and to Him outside of my home. So the second question is a good one for me to consider! And I have been trying to attentively listen and expectantly waiting to hear from God and desiring to “find my way home” in this current stage of my life. This book discussion comes at a great time as I have enjoyed other book discussions!

    I receive the daily meditations and I am usually going through one of Henri’s books. I savor his words as they give me strength, insight and understanding for my spiritual journey and so ever grateful for Henri and his ability to share so authentically and compassionately.

    1. Hi Sharon

      It is indeed a wonderful feeling to get up in the morning and say “Well God, what do we do today” It will be good to share with you our answers.

      1. As I struggle through a challenging time (though not one of insuperable challenges), I will try to keep remembering Jerry’s words: “Well, God what do WE do today?” For truly nothing is impossible with God. Why should I ever feel alone?

        This is perhaps my fourth online book discussion on the Henri Nouwen website. I always look forward to the inspiration and wisdom offered by the participants, and I am always sad when the discussion ends. These discussions offer reassurance that I am not alone in my struggles and my search for spiritual meaning, and I often wish that all of us could find a way to maintain this awesome support system in the spiritual dry spells that sometimes occur (at least for me) between book club sessions.

        1. Hi Elaine I am in DC area near Wesley and Virginia Seminaries. They both have special programs just for us. VTS has Lifetime Theological Education program with own courses and permission to audit other courses. I have found them exciting and the classroom very stimulating. Maybe you have one near you?

      2. Thank you, Jerry.

        So encouraging to remember that we can be in union with God at any moment. Most days I enjoy waking each day and meeting with God and seeing how the Spirit will speak to me…through His wonderful way of touching my heart through prayer, contemplation, creation, through His word, journaling. It is a journey filled with His unique touch. I appreciate your kindness. And the daily meditation was so good today. Thank you, Ray. I noticed that too! Sharing our journeys with Him together is a tremendous blessing. I am so happy and grateful for these discussions and to learn about others around the world and their journeys.

    2. Hi, everyone. I am Barbara from southeastern Pennsylvania, about halfway between Philadelphia and Lancaster. I have taken several on-line courses but never participated in a study focused on religious or devotional materials. I’m a retired school psychologist and keep busy with travel, grandchildren, reading and volunteer work. I was introduced to the writings of Henri Nouwen when I attended leadership training for Stephen Ministry at our church and have subscribed to the Daily Meditation for several years. I signed up for this in order to provide me with increased devotional study over the summer months and am looking forward to the discussion here, especially during a time in our country when true and productive dialogue seems in short supply sometimes.

  28. My name is Charles, and I am looking forward to participating in this study of Henri Nouwen’s book. I have participated in past online book studies, although I missed the last round during Lent. I spend my days serving children as an assistant principal at an elementary school in Arizona. The children teach me a lot.
    I always say there are no coincidences. I went back to a series of talks that I have by Thomas Merton. Although speaking to the monastic life, his ideas apply to all. I caught something this time I did not pay attention to last time, that we are all on a journey (he used Abraham as an example), and that we are all not unlike exiles. We are all away from our home and on a journey seeking to return. Our true home is not of this Earth. So, here comes this book study on Henri Nouwen’s “Finding My Way Home.” I have to be a part of this one!!
    One thing that struck me from the Preface was the way Henri Nouwen stopped and spent time with those who we would typically consider the least fortunate among us, in this case a homeless person and then Adam at L’Arche Daybreak. The time spent in either case was not brief, but lengthy and meaningful. There is a lesson there to be had.
    Thank you for, Ray, for putting this together. I am looking forward to it.

  29. How good it is to see by this diverse group, that I am not alone in my yearning for home. I have participated at varying levels in each of the book discussions here since the Advent “Life of the Beloved” study. I have grown in some way from each study and have come to consider Henri Nouwen one of my primary spiritual teachers. So much of what he wrote speaks directly to my heart.

    At this stage in my life as a grandma, retired from the workaday world, I thought I would have a better grasp of home. In my younger years I assumed I would have figured out where I felt at home by the time I reached my golden years. I find instead I am still searching, still trying to find my way home. I am looking forward to continuing the search, guided by Henri Nouwen’s wisdom, in the good company of the others gathered here.

  30. Hello to all! I am a 30 year old from Buffalo, New York. I am a husband, a father, and a hospital chaplain. I have worked as a clinical chaplain for going on six years now. I hope to apply and achieve board certification this fall. In addition, I am an ordained Free Methodist pastor where I served as a pastor for four years. Nouwen’s work has greatly influenced my work as a chaplain and pastor.

    I have found great meaning in the words of Henri Nouwen since my days of college and seminary. His words have inspired me to be a more peaceful & thoughtful man. In Nouwen’s writings I have come to encounter a man who loved God and people in his brokenness and frailty. He has been someone I have relied upon to help me in my thinking and writing. I am indeed looking forward to the journey of reading yet another collection of his writings. I am looking forward to the journey of sharing sacred space with each person here. And I am looking forward to “the journey of discovering the perfect love that only God can give.”

    Grace and peace to you all.

  31. I live in St. Louis with my wife and 3 boys (ages 6-10). I’ve been a reader of Nouwen for 4-5 years, but this is my first time joining an online book discussion. I am a member of a Presbyterian church, grew up Catholic, and am deeply inspired by the teachings of Nouwen, Rolheiser, and many others that they draw inspiration from.

    I look forward to reflecting on what it means to “find my way home” and to learning from the collective experiences of those at various stages and backgrounds. Being in my mid-30s, I look forward to learning from those that are ahead of me in the journey.

  32. My spiritual paths have taken me from preaching at 12 in a fundamental church, to Tibetan Buddhist retreats. I sought a closeness with a loving God. Many churches gave me written prayers, liturgy, and rules. Eastern thought gave me higher levels, meditation and mindfulness.
    Two years ago I found an Episcopalian church open to new ides. This led me to the Order of St Luke the Physician which led me to spirituality classes. Spirituality was new to me. It gave me the spiritual healing of Jesus and the Mystics.
    I then attended a class in spiritual direction at the seminary. Two of Henri Nouwen’s books were required.
    I found my spiritual director!
    His meditations and thoughts have guided me since. I look forward to sharing more travel on this path with you.

  33. From Evelyn Farmer

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts with us. I am looking forward to ideas on how to bridge the gap between the sometimes ideal and the real world of “finding our way home.”

  34. I am grateful to be a part of another study. This time I have shortened my name to make it easier. Reading the posts from fellow participants gives me a feeling of connection on this “spiritual one-month journey”. Maybe that is the “home” I am seeking – a place of spiritual companionship. I am retired and live in Canada. My children are grown and this is the empty nest part of my life. My spiritual journey has led me to many churches but never a church home. Finding Henri Nouwen’s books a few years ago has given me a path to follow. (My copy of the current book is on the way!) The sincere posts that I read here help me to understand the gift of a closer spiritual walk with our Lord.

  35. Through my personal journey of healing and studies of spiritual formation, I have come to appreciate and find God’s nurturing love through the writings of Henri Nouwen. Serving in a one-on-one caring ministry as well as womens ministry, Henri’s perspective on life and our journey with God gives me perspective and insight to share with others who are seeking God’s love and healing.

    This is my first online book study and enthusiastically look forward to spending the next weeks with everyone.

  36. This is my first discussion group. I am a 56 year old guy from Buffalo NY. I have run the gamut when it comes to the various denominations with in Christianity. I was raised Roman Catholic, attended a UCC church shortly after my son was born, became “born again” and attended a Baptist Church for 21 years. Then a Presbyterian for almost 8 years, a Free Methodist for 3 years, and now a non-denominational church ( I also attend evening services at a Presbyterian church and/or afternoon services at an Episcopal Church).
    I discovered Henri Nouwen about 5 months ago and have already read several of his books. His writing/wisdom touch my heart and my soul. I have never been so moved by the writing of one man.
    I am truly looking forward to this discussion group, and hope that I will learn much from each of you and that in some small way I can add to your lives as well.
    Peace to you.

  37. From Cathy Dunn

    Greetings. This is my first online book discussion with one of Henri Nouwen’s works. I live in southwestern PA with my second husband, and am hoping to retire next year from my clerical job. I was raised Roman Catholic but was led to the Anglican Church in 2003. I began getting involved in altar service and around 2007 was led to discuss ordination with my priest. After three years of study I was ordained a vocational deacon and currently serve in that same small country church where I first walked in timidly one Wednesday for noon service. My spiritual director (who is RC) introduced me to Nouwen and I have been blessed by his wisdom ever since. I found this discussion through the daily meditation. God has greatly blessed me in more ways than I can count, and I thank Him for all that I have gone through, even the worst of times. He is slowly but surely “leading me home”, and I know He is with me through all the ways that path has taken me. I look forward to being in this discussion with you all. Blessings, Cathy

  38. From Michael Degner

    I am new to on-line discussions and excited to participate. I discovered Henri Nouwen when I was a seminary student 40 years ago and then re-discovered him last year. I happily stumbled upon this web-site only a few weeks ago. My spiritual life is more important to me than ever after having spent some time in a very dark place. I will order the book today and look forward to learning a growing with new friends in this space. I live in Sacramento.

  39. Hi everyone! I am a Christian, although not Catholic, but find Nouwen’s writing very moving. I live in Texas where I teach US history at a local college. This is the first time I’ve participated in book discussion. I receive the daily Nouwen quotes by email which is how I learned about this. My spiritual journey now, in my early 50s, is asking what I am meant to do with the rest of my life. How do I serve God and His kids?

  40. I am a life-long if not consistent Catholic. Thanks to God’s great grace and Love I am always urged to begin again. I am from Salem Ma. and a member of the Boston Paulist Center.I am a retired teacher and a life long seeker. This site and exposure to Henri Nouwen’s writing has been another gift to me from my loving God. I am so grateful to travel on this journey with all of you. Blessing and love, Kathy

  41. Thank you for your invitation to begin a reflection with others on the writings of Nouwen. I have attempted to do so before without much success but this time, with more structure to my life, I hope to be more faithful. At present, I’m living in South Buffalo (having survived the winter) and am recently retired because of knee surgery which affords me more time. I look forward to participating with others in the daily insights. Kathleen

  42. Hello Ray, Maureen and all.

    The Lord currently has me “stationed” on my journey home in the Midwestern United States in the state of Ohio. I have moved to many places in my sojourn: “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

    I am a “revert” cradle Catholic, having left the church and been held in the clutches of the evil one. Thus, I spend most of my days in spiritual warfare, girding myself with the armor of God.

    When I “came back home” to the Catholic church I was fortunate in having many compatriot foot soldiers help me heal from my time in prison. I spent the first 3 years back in RCIA and then became a lector in my parish.

    After the first year of RCIA, I felt a “let down” after Easter when our group no longer met. So, with the pastor’s permission and blessing, I started a Book Club in our parish and assembled a group of people from the parish who submitted their support and ideas for books. A list was submitted to the pastor for review and approval. Our first book as a group was by Henri Nouwen, “The Wounded Healer – Ministry in Contemporary Society”. This was my first exposure to Father Nouwen.

    Through this experience of coming home, healing, and “being still and knowing that He is God”, my primary challenge remains each day discerning His will for me and praying for the strength, courage, grace and power to carry out that will.

    Never again do I want to be outside the will of God. Never again do I want to seek “love in all the wrong places” as that old song opines. 🙂

  43. I am living in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. I am married with two grown children. I was introduced to Henri Nouwen by a friend at church years ago and have read several of his books. I love his insights and deep spirituality. I have joined with several neighbors to form a weekly spiritual discussion group. In addition to our current focus on the Psalms, we have all decided join this discussion group. New Nouwen book in hand, I am excited to get started.

  44. I am a life long Catholic. I love Fr. Nouwen’s writings! My two children aged 19 and 22 have left home so we are empty nesters. I am in a transition period in my parenting and am open to whatever God wants to do with me.

    Looking forward to hearing others views!

  45. It is inspiring to participate in a book study with this diverse and interested fellowship.
    I have been a professional academic peripatetic, moving across the US and UK as a student, researcher, fellow and teacher, most recently finding myself in a new “home” of marriage, housewifery, and addiction recovery.
    I look forward to sharing in your experiences as I share mine, reflecting on this book (my first by Henri Nouwen) and writing our own stories of discovery on our jouneys to our homes, physical and otherwise.

  46. Greetings, all. I hail from the central US. I have been a volunteer lay leader in churches for almost 20 years now. I love gaining new insights from books and discussions with fellow believers in different walks of life. This looks to be an interesting journey.
    This is my first online book discussion aside from my days of online college classes back around 2010. Which was where I was first introduced to Mr. Nouwen’s writings. I’ve since read a few more of his books, joined the devotional emails, and have checked into the website from time to time. His gentle yet profound words grabbed ahold of me from the very first chapter.

    My prayer for this journey is that I deepen my relationship with my Father and discover a whole new way that I am loved and a love for others that can only come from Him. I want to find that place of truly being at home with God.

  47. From Alice Vanderkooy

    Henri Nouwen’s writings have had a profound influence on my life, particlarly The Road to Daybreak. I look forward to being enriched by this study and by those who participate. Have just ordered the book, so ai’ll need to catch up when it arrives.

  48. This is my first online book study and the first book of his that I have read. I read his daily emails. I live in Canada and hope I can figure out how to do this.

  49. From Marie T

    Thank you for making a book club for Henri Nouwen’s writing available. I have loved his books for years but have not shared thoughts as I read with other readers. This is a wonderful new experience online.

  50. From Charmaine

    Looking forward to read this book. Learnt much from the prodigal son finding his way home.

  51. Hello everyone!

    I’m very excited to join this book discussion community. I have never participated in an online book discussion and after reading your interesting introductions, I am looking forward to gaining new insight on finding my way home from so many different perspectives.

    I am from upstate NY and a cradle Catholic who found a deeper calling for home when my family was young and I participated in a charismatic seminar called “Life in the Spirit.” My faith was fueled at that time and I have since participated in several faith studies. I have felt God’s hand in my life through my struggles with raising teens while watching my parents grow older. My father passed recently to go home with the Lord, and I was pleasantly surprised at my comfort knowing he was with Jesus. I now have a new appreciation for our eternal home and the knowledge that we are just passing through.

    I look forward to learning how I can find my way home while being God’s hand and feet here on earth.

  52. Hello Everyone,
    This is the second book that I`ve read with this Henri Nouwen book study. I first read Return of the Prodigal Son several years ago, since then have read several others. This one is new to me so am looking forward to finding some more “pearls” from Henri`s writings and joining in with the blog discussion.
    My home is in Coxley, a small village two miles south of Wells, a lovely Anglican cathedral city in Somerset, England.
    Thank you, everyone at HNS for your dedication to help us learn and become enriched in our walk with God, which will lead us to the celestial city.

  53. I am retired living in GA. I heard about Henri Nouwen through an online prayer group. I began reading his Daily Meditations through which I learned of this book study. This will be the first time I have read one of his books and participated in a book study. I look forward to what the Holy Spirit will reveal to me.

  54. I live in Eastern Los Angeles County. I am a lifelong Catholic, married 38 years and have one child, who is a gay man; made in the image of God! I’ve been struggling with the Church’s hurtful and exclusionary language regarding my son and the many LGBT Catholics that I know and love. That’s where the bulk of my energy is focused; making the Catholic Church a place of acceptance for all people. This can be a lonely ministry at times. I’m talking about believing the entrance song I heard today: “All are Welcome”, I’m not talking about Sacramental Marriage.

    This is my first book discussion and I heard about it from the Daily Meditations blog.

    “Finding my way home” to me is trying to figure out if the Catholic Church, which I have considered home my whole life, really is my home.

    1. Dear Jenny~ I pray for your strength and courage working inside the system to change it. I believe the efforts and energy you have given are powered by Grace from our loving Triune God~ Who excludes no one. I believe Jesus’ command when He said ~ Love one another as I have Loved! Jesus, God’s Word made flesh, was completely inclusive. We are One ~ all of us~ created in the image of a loving God. I belong to the the Paulist Center in Boston. I make the choice to travel out of my geographic community to be Fed in this loving, accepting, Catholic setting where all truly are welcomed. We are One. I believe we are moving in the right direction~ on a course of Love~ our nation, our world and our church.For this I pray daily. God bless you and your family.

  55. I have lived in Southern California my whole life. I was raised Catholic, but am unchurched at this time. I considered becoming a nun until I was 21-22, but instead found a better way to serve as I became a nurse. I worked many years as an oncology nurse, and was blessed by my many patients. I then worked as a school nurse specialist helping special needs children get educational services. When I was in nursing school I was touched by the plight of abandoned crack babies in the hospital. I loved to hold them. Their suffering and the lack of stable homes to take them in, led me to encourage my wonderful parents to become foster parents. We fostered over 50 special needs children over 13 years. Our family adopted 9. The eldest has graduated from college and is getting ready to move out. Three more are in college. Two have intellectual disabilities. All of them have health problems. We lost my mom to cancer four years ago, and we struggle to find our way without her guidance. I discovered Nouwen during that time, and I relate to his teachings. His words have brought me peace. The world can be very hateful and make one feel isolated these days, which is disheartening. I look forward to gentle and loving discourse with this discussion group so I may grow and stay on the path in finding my way home.

    1. I am very excited to hear your insights and learn from you. I am so glad that we are on this journey together. Kathy

    2. I just read your post Shelly, As you will read this book you will find strength. Any death is very devastating and mum like yours as you have described was the cornerstone on which the lives of many were built. But her spirit will guide you from distant shores. She lives now in the near presence of the Lord. God’s grace never abandons us. God bless Lata

  56. This is my first time actually participating in the book discussion. I’m a retired librarian on the east end of Long Island. The introduction to this book made me very anxious to get started! Best wishes everyone

  57. From Marie

    Henri Nouwen is one of my favourite spiritual writers and I had the privilege of attending conferences where he was guest speaker. I look forward to deepening my spirituality and learning through this book discussion. Thank you for the opportunity!

  58. I am from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I live in one of the most beautiful provinces of Canada. I am retired. I have done at least 4 on line studies with this group and am glad to see many familiar names. I have just finished reading the book quickly as my circumstances forced me to keep on reading.
    Our son-in-law died in March with a massive coronary, leaving two small grandchildren 5 1/2 and 10 yrs. old. This has changed our lives. My husband or I are always with our daughter and our grandchildren. I will be able to read it properly slowly and this book will guide me home in a different way. I read Henry Nouwen’s books for my devotions and personal growth.
    Thank you Maureen and Ray for always being there for me during my times of trials and thank you for yet picking up a wonderful guide book to life for my husband and I . Lata

    1. Lata~ I recognize your name from a past book discussion and I loved reading your insights. I am so sorry for your huge loss and am praying for you and your family. Kathy

      1. Thank you Kathy! Prayers have kept me going and moving forward. I look forward to your input. Love and blessings, Lata

    2. Lata, I,too, remember well your thoughtful posts from past studies. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in your time of loss and transition.

      May God’s peace be with you and yours.

    3. Hi Lata:
      Please accept my heartfelt condolence. I hope this study will feed your spirit so you can support your daughter as she needs to be supported. My brother passed away of a heart attack at age 39 leaving 2 small children. It is such a shocking time. My niece and nephew are now in their 20’s and have done very well. The community helps raise them. M

    4. Lata, my heart goes out to you and your family. I pray this discussion will flood you with peace. Knowing how Henri’s books so often came from his journalling as he grappled with a problem, I find them inspiring when I am struggling. He truly walked the walk so his writings mean a lot to me and I can follow his guidance in trust.

    5. Lata,

      A belated welcome! It’s a joy to have you join with us again. Know that you and your family are in our prayers. May the Lord give you peace and strength at this difficult time. And we look forward to your insightful and compassionate comments as time permits.

      Peace and all good.


  59. From Doris

    I am looking forward to writing in the blog, and reading what others say. I have been with Henri Nouwen’s meditation blogs. I enjoy reading them and being a part of the writing. I find this informative and heart warming.

  60. I am a retiree, living in Louisiana for the past 40 years. I was born and raised in Indiana, where I married and had three children prior to moving to the deep south. I am United Methodist but have a deep respect for Henri Nouwen specifically and for the Catholic Church in general, which was reinforced during a trip to Israel / Egypt shortly after my retirement. I’ve read many of his books, subscribe to Daily Meditations through email, which is where I learned of this class. My time these days is mostly spent at my home, with my sweet Border Collie, Ginger and when I’m able, I travel to see my children and grandchildren as well as my mother, who, at 92 still lives on her own in Indiana. I enjoy technology, writing, art and reading and I’m looking forward to discussion here.

  61. This is my second attempt to be part of a Henri Nouwen study. As with most spiritual endeavors, there are attempts by the evil one to thwart the experience. I am praying for protection for my spirit to stay strong and learn from all who join the study. I was born in Canada on the east coast in a small farming community and attended the Anglican Church. I love the services with multiple scripture readings, hymns, prayers and choruses. I love going to Church. As a little girl, I played church in a rock pile where I built an altar and used dead flowers from a cemetery close to the rock pile, to adorn my place of worship. In April of this year, I set up housekeeping for the 17th time in 36 years. I know my home is not here and I look forward to my eternal home. I want to complete my journey and be known for who I am in Christ Jesus. Amen

  62. From Jamie

    Hi, I have never participated in a book discussion. A local pastor mentioned Henri Nouwen today at church, so I came home to check out some books. I stumbled upon this online book discussion and think i’ll give it a try!

  63. From Gloriamarie Amalfitano

    I am Gloriamarie in San Diego, CA. I have never participated in one of these book discussion although I have known about them for years. I am Episcopalian. When I was in seminary and he was teaching at Harvard, Henri Nouwen came and spoke at my seminary along with another popular Christian author whose name I will not mention because Henri blew him right out of the water. I discovered Thomas Merton, Evelyn Underhill, the Desert Christians and so many other pre-Reformation mystics and contemplatives the same year and there was no turning back.

    One thing I devote time to is my Facebook group: Celebrate What Christians Have in Common, a daily buffet of prayer, art, music, cartoons, spirituality from many different voices of Christianity all in an effort to help us Christians remember that no matter what church we worship in, all Christians have far more in common than otherwise.

    About “finding my way home…” I admit to being confused and feeling a bit lost in my own personal worship as I am presently unchurched for reasons I won’t detail here but there has been much hurt after I had a heart attack earlier this year. I deeply miss the connection with a church community and that is a home I would like to find although I know my true home is within the cupped hands of God.

    1. From Roslyn

      Loved your words, Gloriamarie: “my true home is within the cupped hands of God.”
      A beautiful description….I can see it, and I feel it too Thanks

      You shared about being unchurched….Several years ago, after a serious falling out with my pastor, I became unchurched – for about two years. All was eventually resolved and we reconciled, though I chose to join another fellowship for certain reasons. But I want to just share that, in hindsight, I felt that those two years “apart” helped me to grow spiritually…..I felt I grew much closer to God, Before the break-up, I had focused far too much on the church leaders. I placed the pastor “on top”! My time alone with God helped me to know that I was His child…and that He comes first! Other church members are important but they are only human and, at times, they mess up (as we all do) and can cause others pain, though not always intending to do so.

  64. From Alvira Gailbraith

    I was introduced to Henri Nouwen by my son and subsequently when we were implementing Spiritual Nursing Assessment on the admission of patients to my inpatient unit.
    My name is Alvira Galbraith, Ann Arbor MI
    I consistently meditate on his key principals to happiness: Solitude, Compassion for the Underserved, and Community-taking care of community and friends.

  65. I have read and loved the gentle and profound wisdom of Henri Nouwen for years; both in his books and in the daily meditations that bless my inbox every day. I am a Children’s librarian living in Surrey BC. My go to quote so far is: “This brief lifetime is my opportunity to receive love, deepen love, grow in love and give love.” (From the forward) That is practical and deeply simple.
    My prayer for this study is that I can receive, deepen, grow and give love…all the way home.

  66. From Roslyn

    Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this discussion, my first time here. I discovered the society thanks to a Facebook friend. I read “In the name of Jesus” about five years ago (recommended to me by a wonderful Salvation Army leader)
    I am Scottish but have lived in Sweden for the past 28 years.
    Finding my way home?…..as a person who has moved around alot, and even lived in three different countries through my adult life, I have often asked myself “where’s home?”
    I often envied people who still lived in the town where they were born and who knew were home was. I often told myself that home is where the heart is…..But I would say, it wasn’t really until April this year, when I mother died, and I attended her funeral, that it struck me! The pastor said some lovely things, but it was when he said that my mother had gone home, that I felt such peace. Earth isn’t home….I am just passing through! That doesn’t mean that I am selfishly detached from this world, only concerned about that day when I will “go home”. No, despite being only temporary, I am 100% here and I want to be available to God to help Him achieve His will here on earth, however He chooses to use me….and I can still feel “at home” when I spend time with Him.

  67. Looks like we have 2 Kathryn’s spelled the same way. That typically doesn’t happen for me. I will use Kath and hopefully there will not be any confusion.
    I have read Henri for many years. And always been blessed by his teaching. This past August I had to go on short term disability and took the opportunity to read Genese and Adam. Over and over I had the experience of Henri describing my heart. I felt like I found a life long friend, a soul companion. I am looking forward to hearing others experiences of his works.
    I am in a huge career change left corp America after 30 years in technology to try and build up a spiritual direction ministry.

  68. Usually I live in Ecuador but at the minute I am in England on holiday for two months. I belong to the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of St. Joseph. When in Ecuador I teach English and work in a parish. This is the first book discussion that I’ve participated in. Being a fan of Henri Nouwen books I came across this site while surfing the web. And what a treasure I found!!!!! I am very much looking forward to sharing with kindred spirits. For me, “finding my way home”, at this time in my spiritual journey, means a heading towards feeling more “at home” with myself, God and others – and not “on edge”, as I can sometimes find myself.

    1. “on edge” so apt for me also~ your description of “at home” perfectly describes my life spiritual goal~ thank you, Kathy

  69. Hello! I’m living in Western Canada. I’m a Clinical Instructor but on leave as I have had Cancer for the last year – one Chemo treatment left. I also have 3 kids, 2 live in Calgary, AB, Canada and 1 still at home. I devote my time and energies also to my parents. My dad has quite advanced Alzheimer”s and is in a home now. Mom lives near us. I’ve participated in many book studies, I’m thinking maybe 4 years now.

    I think finding my way home at this time of life will mean that wherever I am physically, whatever conversation I’m in, I will have a deep conviction that I’m already home with God. God is alive in my heart and I can just rest in that.

    Looking forward to a new study!

  70. I live in Texas and have been retired from social work for a year, working in hospice and with the elderly. During this year God has lead me to a Christ-centered Episcopal church where I have become involved in the Stephen Ministry, teaching a Bible class to elderly people in early stages of dementia, and participating in a women’s Bible study.

    I have been acquainted with the work of Henry Nouwen for about twenty years. I was not able to participate in the on-line study of his prodigal son book, but it is my favorite of all of his books. I had seen Rembrant’s painting in St. Petersburg just prior to discovering the book and had the same reactions – a true liminal moment where I lost consciousness of anything else.

    “Finding My Way Home” has long been a metaphor for my own spiritual and psychological journey to truly believing that I am a beloved child of God, unconditionally loved by him, and surrendering to my powerlessness and His grace. This journey was first inspired by T. S. Elliot’s words , “… The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

    This week I broke my ankle, and it seems God has interrupted my life to answer my desire to draw on his grace and live in the moment. I look forward to sharing this book and learning from each of you .

  71. The Holy Spirit brought Nouwen into my life just as I had been notified I would be included in a reduction in force at the BIA school where I was working. Realizing that the end of my employment, ten years ago, was an opportunity for some serious discernment, I made a retreat at Our Lady of Peace in Beaverton, OR and was blessed to be under the spiritual direction of Sr. Terese, who loaded the book shelves in my room with Nouwen books, which I devoured. The Road to Daybreak, The Wounded Healer, and The Return of the Prodigal Son left strong spiritual imprints. Nouwen’s emphasis on downward mobility and prayer has been leading me for many years. As a recovering “Type A” and overachiever, I relied on his ideas to shed most of my personal belongings, and began a journey in which I became a live-in volunteer at L’Arche Nehalem in Portland, completed three years of spiritual direction training, volunteered for a year with the Franciscans in Mississippi as a teacher, and completed the two-year Oblate formation at Queen of Angels Monastery in Mt. Angel, OR, where I have been an Oblate since 2009. Now, for the last nine months, I am in AL, to be near to my daughter who has a serious degenerative illness and is the mother of three. Since being in AL, I have been praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance about how to use my training/gifts in service in a county with only one Catholic (mission) church and an amazingly small (<2%) percentage of Catholics. I am now officially living in poverty, on social security, in a senior and disabled apartment complex, so I "sort of" feel I have met the "downward mobility" goal. This opportunity has brought two things to my attention: First, I have been using Nouwen's ideas within my long established model of "over achievement" to pursue "downward mobility" and a rich prayer life, provided by my Benedictine Oblation; Secondly, Nouwen is back in my life, completing a circle and giving me a chance to continue my discernment, which he first inspired. Participants in this discussion are prayers being answered. Blessings and peace, Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth, you have really inspired me through this reality sharing.
      Since Jan 27, 2015. I have been dealing with cancer throughout the bones in my upper torso. Medication is to control the pain, and prayerful support from family and friends, and during this past Lent (probably my best Lent, believe it or not), through the sharings of the participants of The Return Of The Prodigal Son discussion group. I am so looking forward to this further journey together. Thank you again for inspiring me Elizabeth to continue this journey. My prayer is for years ‘coming home’ to my wonderful wife of 45 years, our two sons and their wife’s, and our 3 beautiful grandchildren and extended family and friends.

      1. Bob,

        It’s wonderful to have you join us for another book discussion. May it be fruitful for you. And know that you and your family are on our prayers. May the peace of our Lord be with you every day.


  72. I work and live in the Dallas area. I first heard about Henri Nouwen while listening to sermons at the church I attend. What a remarkable man he was! His writings are insightful and genuine and challenging. I am excited to be reading this book and look forward to the conversations!

  73. I am a cradle Catholic living in Wyoming and have been retired for 15 months, loving every minute of it. I discovered Nouwen’s writings back in the 80’s and have many of his books. I was excited to discover the daily meditations a few years ago and since then have participated in several Advent & Lent studies and thoroughly enjoyed them. People’s thoughtful comments bring Henri’s writings alive in a special way. As for the “finding my way home” theme, this is perfect timing for me. I had a huge “aha” moment during the Advent study and have been trying to truly live out of the experience of being God’s beloved. I have learned in the last six months that problems and setbacks really pull me back into worries and feeling inadequate, which makes me lose the peace I feel when I’m able to really believe that God loves me as I am. Hopefully this study will be a shot in the arm, helping me solidify how to live all the time as the Beloved, rather than just when things are going well.

    1. Hello Cel! I remember you from some past studies, and you had some great thoughts and contributions. I am kind of looking for that shot in the arm as well, so hopefully things will pan out for the both of us. Talk to you soon, and happy to see you in on this one.

  74. I am a Catholic in Hertfordshire, UK. I have been guided to this – a few, what I like to call, Godincidences have happened to lead me to this point. I feel like I need some help on my spiritual direction. I have been a Confirmation Catechist but that doesn’t feel ‘right’ anymore – I am also a Eucharistic Minister and even though I feel really self conscious I have gained so much from it.

      1. me too~ 🙂 feels like my life is one big, long “Godincidece” and I am learning to be grateful for all of it~Kathy

  75. I m from Rochester, NY and work in the field of counseling.

    I was introduced to Henri Nouwen’s work in 1981. It was at that time I was going through challenging issues. The book “Out of Solitude” gave me such support and have been reading his works ever since. He writes in a way that feels as if he is talking to you!
    I was very excited to learn of this book discussion.

    I have finished Finding My Way Home and look forward to being a part of this discussion during the week.


  76. I am a recently retired minister who served for 40 yrs in UCC (10) UMC 30 in Pa,Vt. and South Carolina for the last 24 yrs. I heard about book study by email. I am married and am living in my retirement home for 6 months now. I am very ecumenical in outlook . I have strong Catholic leanings having a Catholic priest as my best friend and having been an active participant in the church for yrs attending Mass on a regular basis etc. I have almost all of Nouwen’s books and completed a Doctorate in spirtual formation bases on his writings. I have a deep love for Nouwen’s writings and feel spiritually connected to him. I am in a time of transition in early retirement and am open to listening or sharing.

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