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Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  563 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Newly repackaged, Making All Things New is an eloquent and simple explanation of the spiritual life from Henri J.M. Nouwen, author of Letters to Marc About Jesus and A Letter of Consolation and one of the best-loved spiritual writers of the twentieth century.
Hardcover, Reissue, 96 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by HarperOne (first published June 3rd 1981)
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The Wounded Healer by Henri J.M. NouwenCelebration of Discipline by Richard J. FosterGilead by Marilynne RobinsonThe Pursuit of God by A.W. TozerA Praying Life by Paul E. Miller
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,064)
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Jul 20, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living, own
This book was just what I needed at the moment. I had no idea that the feelings I have been wrestling with for years were rooted in worry. But worry is a major stumbling block to the life of the spirit. This book is not written to be a full treatment of the issue but as an invitation--a prologue-- to go deeper. He wrote this to be a concise description of how he understands the Spiritual life.

Nouwen writes with a clean, easy prose that is a pleasure to read. I really enjoyed this book and it ma
Apr 07, 2014 Ian rated it it was amazing
This is short at 96 pages and is written in three sections, all of which are easy to read. But there is such powerful insight in the words Nouwen uses.

I can read his work every day as there is such wonderful clarity around the understanding of the human condition plus he writes in this wonderfully melodic style that is non-judgemental and peaceful.

The book starts with identifying busyness as a key enemy to a spiritual life. However, he highlights the fact that busyness doesn't necessarily lead t
Henri Nouwen has been a treasured spiritual mentor for many of us. I first read In the Name of Jesus back in seminary and have read some of his other books over the years. It is always a win when I am perusing a used bookstore and come across a work by Nouwen. This little book makes a good weeklong devotional. The first chapter diagnoses the problem, while the second chapter talks about the kingdom. The third chapter discusses two key spiritual practices for entering into the spiritual life - so ...more
Jana Crea
Sep 20, 2016 Jana Crea rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual
I like Nouwen's simplicity and accessibility. This was a good introduction to the Spiritual Life. For me, the best part was chapter 3 on solitude and community. Some very timely remarks that I can apply to my own life.
Will Waller
My favorite food is spaghetti. No matter how many times that I eat spaghetti, I probably, within a day or two, could eat another bowl. That is the sign of a good devotional book. There are few that make me want to eat again. Sometimes, there are just morsels of the meal that would make my mouth water. Even rarer is the entree that I return to again and again.

This might be one of those entrees.

Since this book is highly reviewed and reviewed by many, let me just point to a few highlights for me.
Audrey Bienek
Oct 19, 2016 Audrey Bienek rated it it was amazing
I am and always will be a huge Henri Nouwen fan. After reading Reaching Out I went and bought eight more of his books. The way he writes, he takes such theological topics and conveys them in a way that makes you realize the way to a stronger spiritual life really is that simple. Simple, but not easy.

This book is centered on the verse Matthew 6:31-33. "Do not worry; do not say, "what are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?"... your Heavenly Father knows you need them all. S
Caroline Hoelscher
Jan 28, 2014 Caroline Hoelscher rated it it was amazing
Must read! Nouwen is a compelling writer who explains the spiritual life in a very real and concrete way. He addresses the tensions and the paradox of the spiritual life and reveals how we can live a new life in the Spirit.

"'Being in the world without being of the world.' These words summarize well the way Jesus speaks of the spiritual life. It is a life in which we are totally transformed by the Spirit of love. Yet it is a life in which everything SEEMS to remain the same...But the spiritual l
Matt Friedman
Oct 23, 2015 Matt Friedman rated it it was amazing
A remarkable little volume, a kind of "starter kit" for personal and communal devotional life which is worth revisiting and quoting. A particularly good quote:

"Thus the discipline of community frees us to go wherever the Spirit guides us, even to places we would rather not go. This is the real Pentecost experience. When the Spirit descended on the disciples huddling together in fear, they were set free to move out of their closed room into the world. As long as they were assembled in fear they d
Ryan Neace
Nov 03, 2013 Ryan Neace rated it really liked it
Classic Nouwen. If you're read all of his other items, this is nothing terribly new, except perhaps how he fleshes out what he refers to as "the discpline of community" vs. "the discipline of solitude." The latter is a regular reference for him, but the former less so, and thinking of community as a "discipline" was a new experience for me.
Donna McDurfee
Mar 26, 2014 Donna McDurfee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short but powerful book I was s

I was looking for a book that talked about getting away with God. Within the first few pages I realized Rev. Nouwen was defining me and the place I find myself in. It's a short book that can be read in one sitting so you can sink your teeth into it then chew on it. I found it very helpful in giving me a goal. This book is perfect for someone needing some relief from this maddening frantic world we live in. Being alone with the Spirit of God will help bring calm in
Mar 24, 2011 Mic rated it liked it
So this book has crossed my path a few times. I know Nouwen struggled with some things in his life. But that doesn't mean it disqualifies his work. It means you look at the work as a whole and see if it reflects Christ and I believe this book does. The first chapter opens with the idea that the answer to our clogged, jam packed, unfulfilled life style is a Spiritual Life. By the close of the chapter the author paints the picture that this spiritual life is one that has the Kingdom of God at the ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Suzannalily rated it really liked it
The author desired this book to be read in one sitting. I used it as a morning devotional read and enjoyed it, but see how portioning lost the flow of the authors thoughts. I will read this again to better grasp message. I appreciated authors explanation of the "Discipline of Solitude and Community." and that "all forms of life together can become ways to reveal to each other the real presence of God in our midst" A thoughtful and helpful little book!
Nov 01, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
I really liked how Nouwen explained why we feel both fulfilled and unfulfilled, and the prevalence of loneliness in our society. Then he made a good argument for how solitude time with God and with other believers will help us lessen our worries. It will help us listen to God's words more and grow more intimate in our relationship with Jesus. A very easy to read book! I finished it in a few hours.

Favorite Quote: "Jesus responds to this condition of being filled yet unfulfilled, very busy yet un
Mark Schlechty
Nov 24, 2015 Mark Schlechty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't what I was looking for, but possibly what I needed.

Very good book as are all of the author's works. His understanding of how we can be overwhelmed and bored at the same time is a common feeding that few understand. Summary...solitude and community as a way to make space for God.
Doutor Branco
Oct 19, 2014 Doutor Branco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lidos-em-2014
What to say... I just love to read Henry Nouveau! His writings are simple and yet deep. The Bible verse: "I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26 ESV), have just tricked me in a very special way. ...more
Apr 27, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Favorite quotes:

"Friendship, marriage, family, religious life and every other form of community is solitude greeting solitude, spirit speaking to spirit, and heart calling to heart."

"Worrying causes us to be 'all over the place,' but seldom at home."
Jan 16, 2016 Erica rated it really liked it
Picked this up in a convent library during a short overnight retreat. A perfect primer for my time. Nouwen provides a simple and helpful description of the filled, unfilled life and the need for discipline namely solitude and community.
Jun 18, 2014 Audra rated it really liked it
Extremely short, but a wonderful invitation and an especially important reminder about how essential solitude is. I think this cuts across all religious traditions that I have personally been touched by.
Steve Gambino
Nov 16, 2014 Steve Gambino rated it it was amazing
A simple but profound book, one of the things that the author elaborated upon was the importance of taking time out yearly for a retreat to regain one's sense of balance.
Don Weidinger
Oct 15, 2016 Don Weidinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
do not worry, dispel resignation and despair, when disconnected loneliness, change of heart to will of father via Holy Spirit of love.
May 11, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I had put this down for months and when I picked it up again it was exactly what I needed to read. I need to practice solitude, not just shy introvert solitude get out of your own head solitude. I will be reading this again.
Debbie Hoskins
Oct 07, 2016 Debbie Hoskins rated it liked it
Shelves: free-therapy, poetic
Nouwen is a nice writer and this is a quick read. There is a little bit of wisdom.
Melinda Poteet
Jun 12, 2016 Melinda Poteet rated it it was amazing
Succinct, well written, practical disciplines to creating a spiritual life.
Sandra Kubis
Feb 23, 2015 Sandra Kubis rated it really liked it
Spiritual pee in a worry-wart world.
Dolly King
Apr 20, 2014 Dolly King rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Did a lenten study on this and it was just incredible. He writes so beautifully. Love Henri Nouwen!!!
Feb 12, 2014 Nancy rated it it was ok
Shelves: spiritual
fair. Last chapter very good.
Amanda Patchin
Jul 14, 2016 Amanda Patchin rated it it was amazing
Just excellent.
Margaret Zhang
Jan 14, 2012 Margaret Zhang rated it liked it
I love the simplicity and brevity of this book. Clear, concise, and powerful. It was some great reinforcement for lessons I thought I had learned a long time ago (parts one and two), and I was particularly appreciative of the great practical suggestions in the third part of the book. Particularly, I loved reading about the discipline of community, because that is something I really struggle with.

I didn't give it five stars because most of it was review for me.... but note that it was much needed
May 10, 2011 Megsprincess87 rated it really liked it
This book is a very short book. The content was powerful. What spoke to me the most was his section on solitude. The only thing however that I really disliked about this book was that I felt like he could have gone more in depth with these sections and topics. I wanted something deeper that I could wrestle with and discuss. And I felt like it just kind of stopped short, like it just skimmed the surface. Overall though, I thought it was a great introductory to the spiritual life.
Eric Walter
Aug 06, 2014 Eric Walter rated it liked it
Easily read within the span of a couple of hours, this small devotional is a perfect introduction not only to Nouwen's writings but also of "new monasticism". Profoundly relevant, wonderful organized and completely practical, I would gladly recommend this little book to anyone contemplating the dynamics of a contemplative life in Christ. While personally enriching this book would best be read as a primer within a community.
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Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen (Nouen), (1932–1996) was a Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who authored 40 books on the spiritual life.

Nouwen's books are widely read today by Protestants and Catholics alike. The Wounded Healer, In the Name of Jesus, Clowning in Rome, The Life of the Beloved, and The Way of the Heart are just a few of the more widely recognized titles. After nearly two decades of
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“Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our lives. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness . . . But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.” 93 likes
“One way to express the spiritual crisis of our time is to say that most of us have an address but cannot be found there.” 26 likes
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