I've read a lot of Nouwen's material - although I admit that the bulk being that of Nouwen quotes in other book. This year I have tried to read more Nouwen direct and I have to say that I have not been disappointed.
'Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life' in particular is a beautiful and challenging little book. Page after page of comforting yet disquieting insights as Nouwen leads us to become aware of 'different poles between which our lives vacillate and are held in tension'. Nouwen suggests that these poles can offer a context through which the spiritual life can be communicated and seen by anyone 'striving to live a life in the spirit of Jesus Christ'.
"The first polarity deals with our relationship to ourselves. It is the polarity between loneliness and solitude. The second polarity forms the basis of our relationship to others. This is the polarity between hostility and hospitality. The third , final and most important polarity structures our relationship with God. This is the polarity between illusion and prayer." (Nouwen 1998)I don't want to forget the insights so I hope to summarise Nouwen's thoughts over the next few weeks.