“Timeless wisdom for life from one of the great spiritual masters of our age.”—James Martin, S.J., author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
In this never-before-published work of inspiration, the bestselling author of The Return of the Prodigal Son offers a compelling case for why Christianity is still relevant, beautiful, intelligent, and necessary in the modern world.
At one of the lowest points in Henri Nouwen’s life, he gave a series of lectures on the importance of following Jesus in an age of anxiety. Drawn from those talks, this new work reveals what sustained Nouwen to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus and led him to become an icon of compassion and vulnerability. Here he writes eloquently about calling and purpose, fear and hope. And he explains why—with so many choices available to the twenty-first-century seeker—the greatest reward for those looking for spiritual direction is rediscovering Jesus’s teaching on love. Along the way, Nouwen offers warm, insightful, practical habits to help readers navigate the narrow, sometimes arduous, but ultimately fulfilling road of conviction and faith.
Praise for Following Jesus
“Few writers have influenced me more than Henri Nouwen. These newly published lectures offer fresh and timely insights amid the familiar cadences of Nouwen’s prose, written from a place of deep anxiety but even deeper hope.”—John Inazu, professor of political science, Washington University in St. Louis, author of Confident Pluralism
“In Following Jesus, beloved pastor and spiritual mentor Henri Nouwen guides the reader on the journey he has traveled as a follower of Jesus. Without minimizing the anxieties, fears, and brokenness that touch down in every reader’s story, Nouwen gently leads the way into a life that centers on Jesus and engulfs the follower with God’s love, a sense of belonging, and a purpose that endures. Truly a wise and welcome word for anyone in this age of anxiety.”—Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women and Finding God in the Margins
The late Dutch Catholic priest and spiritual writer Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son) unpacks what it means to be a follower of Jesus in modern society in this excellent posthumous collection of essays drawn from his lectures. Following a moving introduction from friar Richard Rohr in which Rohr argues Nouwen's ideas were prescient, Nouwen (1932 1996) invites secular readers to consider Christianity in the first chapter, and the rest of the book is an explicit call to those looking to follow Jesus's example. He explores the challenge of loving one's enemies and the connective nature of suffering: "All of humanity has been nailed on the cross... the Risen Lord is the Lord in whose body we have all been gathered. There is great hope in this understanding." For Nouwen, those who choose to follow Jesus will be rewarded with joy and the promise of God's presence. He also often draws on the Gospels to invoke concrete examples of Jesus preaching to his original followers, paraphrasing many sayings and rules for readers: "Pray for people that you do not like. You really have to work at it," and, "We are suffering almost every moment of our life. There is always something that is a little hard... I think we should start with focusing on our small problems." For Christians interested in Nouwen, this fresh collection of his writings will serve as a fine entry point.