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    henri nouwen Quotes

    For as long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. You need not look at that only in a negative way. You wanted to give your heart to others, and you did so quickly and easily. But now you are being asked to let go of all these self-made props and trust that God is enough for you. You must stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: heart  trust  self  identity  god 
     
    Spiritual maturity is not knowing what to do with your whole life, but just knowing what to do next.
    — Henri Nouwen
    However, community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own. The question, therefore, is not 'How can we make community?' but, 'How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?'
    — Henri Nouwen
    Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking our words more seriously and discovering their true selves.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Every time there are losses, there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: time  live  depression  loss  anger  choice  hatred 
     
    What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: heart  human  mind 
     
    You don't think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: living  live  thinking 
     
    For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: children  men  people  women  child  jesus 
     
    Pay attention to the people God puts in your path if you want to discern what God is up to in your life.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: people  attention  god  path 
     
    Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God's guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness.
    — Henri Nouwen
    It is in solitude that we discover that being is more important than having and that we are worth more than the results of our efforts. In solitude we discover that our life is not a possession to be defended but a gift to be shared.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: solitude  gift  worth 
     
    This is what life is about. It is being sent on a trip by a loving God, who is waiting at home for our return and is eager to watch the slides we took and hear about the friends we made. When we travel with the eyes and ears of the God who sent us, we will see wonderful sights, hear wonderful sounds, meet wonderful people ... and be happy to return home.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: travel  people  friends  eyes  loving  god 
     
    Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love?' These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will be many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: peace  world  trust  anger  smile  questions  real 
     
    Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
    — Henri Nouwen
    When I trust deeply that today God is truly with me and holds me safe in a divine embrace, guiding every one of my steps I can let go of my anxious need to know how tomorrow will look, or what will happen next month or next year. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God's love within me and around me.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Nobody escapes being wounded. We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not, 'How can we hide our wounds?' so we don't have to be embarrassed, but 'How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?' When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.
    — Henri Nouwen
    We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: joy  sorrow  angel  strength 
     
    Your life is not going to be easy, and it should not be easy. It ought to be hard. It ought to be radical; it ought to be restless; it ought to lead you to places you'd rather not go.
    — Henri Nouwen
    People who have known the joy of God point each other to flashes of light here and there, and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real Presence of God. They discover that there are people who heal each other's wounds, forgive each other's offenses, share their possessions, foster the spirit of community, celebrate the gifts they have received, and live in constant anticipation of the full manifestation of God's Glory.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: living  darkness  hope 
     
    Keep a space where God can let something totally new take place.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: space  god 
     
    Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.
    — Henri Nouwen
    When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Jesus.. says, 'Let go of your complaints, forgive those who loved you poorly, step over your feelings of being rejected, and have the courage to trust that you won't fall into an abyss of nothingness but into the safe embrace of a God whose love will heal all your wounds.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: trust  god  jesus  courage 
     
    To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, welcome, to accept.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: true  speech 
     
    Do not despair, thinking that you cannot change yourself after so many years. Simply enter into the presence of Jesus as you are and ask him to give you a fearless heart where he can be with you. You cannot make yourself different. Jesus came to give you a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, and a new body. Let him transform you by his love and so enable you to receive his affection in your whole being.
    — Henri Nouwen
    The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God's eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity and held safe in an everlasting embrace... We must dare to opt consciously for our chosenness and not allow our emotions, feelings, or passions to seduce us into self-rejection.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. LOVE is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: death  fear  pain  joy  trust  despair  risk  loving  hope  worth 
     
    The main question is not, how can we hide our wounds...but how can we put our woundedness in service to others.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: service  questions 
     
    My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered that my interruptions were my work.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: work 
     
    We are called to be fruitful - not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: reality  friends  real  god 
     
    Our life is full of brokenness - broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God's faithful presence in our lives.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Our humanity comes to its fullest bloom in giving. We become beautiful people when we give whatever we can give: a smile, a handshake, a kiss, an embrace, a word of love, a present, a part of our life...all of our life.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: true  sky  hope 
     
    Our life is...a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: time  joy  sadness  moment  kiss 
     
    Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.
    — Henri Nouwen
    In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: living  world  anger  hatred 
     
    God, help me to see others not as enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.
    — Henri Nouwen
    Prayer is not what is done by us, but rather what is done by the Holy Spirit in us.
    — Henri Nouwen
    tags: prayer  holy  spirit 
     
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