Henri J.M. Nouwen Quotes

Enjoy the top 308 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Henri J.M. Nouwen.

Henri J.M. Nouwen Quotes

Because where God wants you to be, God holds you safe and gives you peace, even when there is pain.
— Henri J.M. Nouwen —

As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their "right" place.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

Distance never seperates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad cuz I miss you I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

People who read your ideas tend to think that your writings reflect your life.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

Intimacy between people requires closeness as well as distance. It is like dancing. Sometimes we are very close, touching each other or holding each other; sometimes we move away from each other and let the space between us become an area where we can freely move.
To keep the right balance between closeness and distance requires hard work, especially since the needs of the partners may be quite different at a given moment. One might desire closeness while the other wants distance. One might want to be held while the other looks for independence. A perfect balance seldom occurs, but the honest and open search for that balance can give birth to a beautiful dance, worthy to behold.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

There are two extremes to avoid: being completely absorbed in your pain and being distracted by so many things that you stay far away from the wound you want to heal.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

A good death is a death in solidarity with others. To prepare ourselves for a good death, we must develop or deepen this sense of solidarity.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

From the heart arise unknowable impulses as well as conscious feelings, moods, and wishes. The heart, too, has its reasons and is the center of perception and understanding. Finally, the heart is the seat of the will: it makes plans and comes to good decisions. Thus the heart is the central and unifying organ of our personal life. Our heart determines our personality, and is therefore not only the place where God dwells but also the place to which Satan directs his fiercest attacks. It is this heart that is the place of prayer. The prayer of the heart is a prayer that directs itself to God from the center of the person and thus affects the whole of our humanness.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

Are we condemned to be passive victims of our moods? Must we simply say: 'I feel great today' or 'I feel awful today', and require others to live with our moods?
Although it is very hard to control our moods, we can gradually overcome them by living a well-disciplined spiritual life. This can prevent us from acting out of our moods. We might not 'feel' like getting up in the morning because we 'feel' that life is not worth living, that nobody loves us, and that our work is boring. But if we get up anyhow, to spend some time reading the Gospels, praying the Psalms, and thanking God for a new day, our moods may lose their power on us.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

One of the reasons that hiddenness is such an important aspect of the spiritual life is that it keeps us focused on God. In hiddenness we do not receive human acclamation, admiration, support, or encouragement. In hiddenness we have to go to God with our sorrows and joys and trust that God will give us what we most need.
In our society we are inclined to avoid hiddenness. We want to be seen and acknowledged. We want to be useful to others and influence the course of events. But as we become visible and popular, we quickly grow dependent on people and their responses and easily lose touch with God, the true source of our being. Hiddenness is the place of purification. In hiddenness we find our true selves.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God's gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

Jesus, the Son of God, is the man of sorrows, but also the man of complete joy.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

As long as religious people are well dressed, well fed, and well cared for, words about being in solidarity with the poor will remain pious words more likely to evoke good feelings than creative actions. As long as we are doing well what others are doing better and more efficiently, we can hardly expect to be considered the salt of the earth or the light of the world. In short, as long as we avoid displacement, we will miss the compassionate life to which our Lord calls us.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

I also learned afresh that friendship requires a constant willingness to forgive each other for not being Christ, and a willingness to ask Christ himself to be the true center of the relationship.

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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