REACHING OUT: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen

REACHING OUT: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In response to the guiding question, ""What does it mean to live a life in the Spirit of Jesus Christ?"", Nouwen offers a contemporary guide to Christian spirituality that gives fresh expression to the traditional staples -- love of self, love of neighbor, love of God. For him, authentic spirituality involves a disciplined rhythm of reaching out and letting in: first, in the movement from loneliness to solitude, discovering our innermost self; second, from hostility to hospitality, enabling others to be fully themselves; third, from illusion to prayer, transcending the sense of finality in the finite to find God in whole-hearted waiting. In successively developing these themes, the book communicates much traditional and contemporary wisdom. But the uneven text is marred by Nouwen's cloying use of diary extracts, inset like quotes, referring to his own experiences, and a failure to fulfill the book's external unity with a careful internal correlation of the various elements. The upshot is a faultily crafted whole that is disappointingly less than the sum of its many worthwhile parts.

Pub Date: April 4th, 1975
ISBN: 0385236824
Publisher: Doubleday