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The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom
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The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  2,608 ratings  ·  147 reviews
"This book is my secret journal, " Nouwen says. At first, he had no intention of sharing this personal diary of the dark and difficult months when he felt all meaning to his life was missing and all ahead seemed dark -- a bottomless abyss. In spite of his inner torment, Nouwen by personal discipline chose to record in sixty-three journal entries the descent into his heart. ...more
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Published July 28th 2001 by Franciscan Media (first published 1996)
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Brad Syverson
This is a book to be read and absorbed in small doses. It is a deeply personal and very honest book written during a time of great pain. But it is a hopeful book. It's as though Nouwen is writing to himself from place of hope. My sense is that, through effective advice and sheer force of will, Nouwen imagined a place of hope from which he could write to himself sitting in despair. From this imagined place, Nouwen looks back and sees a path to wholeness, a path to an existential, a real place of ...more
Wade
These are selections from a journal that Henri Nouwen wrote when he was in the midst of a very dark season in his life. He writes in the second person singular, saying things like, “You are called to live out of a new place, beyond your emotions, passions, and feelings. As long as you live amid your emotions, passions, and feelings, you will continue to experience loneliness, jealousy, anger, resentment, and even rage, because those are the most obvious responses to rejection and abandonment.” W ...more
Jonathan
Imagine that a priest, writer, and professor with great spiritual wisdom underwent a spiritual collapse. What would he tell himself in these “dark nights of the soul”? What kind of wisdom would he apply to his own life after fifty years of theoretical and practical investigation of his relationship with God? When at the edge of despair, what would he remember the most?

Henri Nouwen’s personal spiritual journal of the most difficult period of his life reads just like that – these are deeply person
...more
Nermine Hosni
يجب عليك الانتقال تدريجياً من البكتء خارجياً والصراخ لي الناس الذين تظن ان بإمكانهم ان يسددوا احتياجاتك ، الي الصراخ داخلياً الي الموضع الذي فيه يمكنك ان تري نفسك محمولاً ومسنوداً من الله

فأنت تعطي كل ما يسأله الناس منك وحين يسألون المزيد فأنك تعطي المزيد حتي تجد مفسك مستهلكاً ومستغلاً ومستنفذاً فلن تستطيع ابداً ان تعترف وتحترم وتقدر ايضاً حدود الآخرين قبل ان تتمكن من ان تضع حدودك الشخصية اولاً

انت تشكو من انك تجد صعوبة في ان تصلي وان تختبر حب يسوع ولكن يسوع يسكن في اعماق ذاتك الخائفة التي لم تش
...more
Mark
A collection of private journal entries by an openly gay but celibate priest, The Inner Voice of Love is a meditation on accepting the kinds of love that are available when the love you want is not available. Because the author was a priest, many of the meditations specifically address accepting divine love, not as a metaphor but as a real, personal gift from an ever-present deity, so I personally had to translate a lot of the concepts into metaphors; but even so, these meditations create a spac ...more
Evan Hays
What an excellent book. Nouwen has really been through it, and so you trust him as you helps guide you through your troubles. There were so many excellent and deep insights in this book. It took me a while to get through, but that is because it is a series of devotionals meant to be read slowly and steadily. I can see a lot of growth in my life in the last year, and this book is a significant part of that.

This is one of the best books that you will find that contributes a true Christ centered vi
...more
Erika Castiglione
This book begins with a warning not to read too many of these spiritual imperatives at once and I think that is good advice. There is so much to contemplate with each entry in Nouwen's secret journal. I especially liked "Control Your Own Drawbridge" and "Own Your Pain." I found myself feeling sad for Nouwen as I read, though (even though I knew the purpose of the book was for the reader to reflect on him/herself as opposed to viewing it as a memoir). I took some comfort in the hope that he is no ...more
Adam Lorenz
'Do not read too many of these spiritual imperatives at once! They were written over a long period of time and need to be read that way...

Too much salt might spoil it, but a little at a time can make it tasty!'

I took Nouwen's suggestion to heart - never rushing. It was worth it. For the discouraged or those of us who often sense a distance from God, Nouwen's words continually reminded me that I am not alone.
Linda
This is Henri Nouwen's journal that takes us through his own personal journey with depression. He was encouraged to publish it so others could see that the master too was human. An important work, especially for us novices. When you are struggling with your own path, it is good to see that those who continued on had struggles to. I give this volume to all I work with who are new on the journey.
Jaime Wright
I felt free to find myself in Nouwen's own experience. Being an academic who is trained to separate myself from all I read and write, it was such a relief to let my guard down, and allow my painful tears to fall. I probably would not have given this book five stars if I hadn't read it at such a painful, doubt-filled time of my life--but then again, one reads this book at such a time as this. So perhaps all five stars have been well earned. I am no more free or healed compared to when I started t ...more
Kelsey
Henri Nouwen is one of my favorite authors. I resonate quite a bit with his introspective nature and keen awareness that this world is not our home. I enjoy his thoughts about solitude, community, dependence, and a variety of other relationship dynamics.
Tom
As I said in another review, this book had a powerful impact on me in conjunction with Brennan Manning's Ruthless Trust.
I have profited from all Nouwen's books, but this and The Return of the Prodigal have been the most important.
Rachel
One of my favorite books to use as a daily devotional. Can be read year after year and enjoyed with each reading. God has used this book to encourage, convict, and guide me as I seek Him.
Alex
Overall, I found this book helpful, hopeful, and challenging, though I was cheesed out here and there.
Dan Brunner
I have read this book often especially is seasons of darkness. It has had a remarkable influence on me.
Tim Daily
Wisdom for the wounded who is moving toward healing.
Sarah Borland
a beautiful book with so much truth
Jackie
This was nothing like what I expected. For one thing, I expected years worth of secret journals to be...well, slightly heftier than this. That is not to say that The Inner Voice of Love lacks emotional heft--far from it--but for someone seeking a traditionally defined narrative this fell short of the mark.

Instead of relating his struggles directly in his diaries, he responds to them through short meditations in the second person. This had an intermittently confusing effect on me, and left me won
...more
Belinda
Tainted. My point of view is too tainted to look at this work objectively, and anyone who reads my review of this book should know that.

My reaction to this book was deeply personal and disturbing. This book is a compilation of Nouwen's journal entries over a series of months when he felt great dispair and angst. His colleagues felt the journal would serve as a great instructional tool for others, and hence this little book was born.

However, drawing from my personal experience, I could clearly he
...more
Sarah Milad
سوف يرحب الآلاف من محبي هنري نووين بهذا الكتاب ترحاب خاص، فهو يضم جميع خواطره التي تم نشرها بموقعنا دورياً في باب "خواطر وأفكار". وأخيراً أصبح بين يدنا الآن. وسوف يقوم مكتب الخدمة، من وقت لآخر، بعقد حلقة مناقشة ومشاركة حول هذا الكتاب لطرح وتبادل الأفكار والمشاعر التي يثيرها نووين بداخلنا من خلال خواطره الفريدة هذه. وتعقد أول حلقة مع بداية الشهر المقبل (يوليو 2009) اضغط هنا للتفاصيل
تـُعد كتابات الأب الراحل هنري نووين (1932- 1996) من أكثر الكتابات التأمُّليّة المُعاصرة عُمقاً ونفاذاً لما تتميّز به
...more
Jen
I will probably refer to this book for years. This book of journal entries can either be used as meditations for a prayer group or for personal guidance. Often we don't think deeply about our motivations, desires, and hopes, and each meditation shines a light on what these might be for us, and also how to accept them and move closer to God.

He focuses on universal desires, not his particular situation. So we can be guided no matter what particular concern he was actually dealing with.

The most fr
...more
Kathy Disanto
If you've ever looked into a personal abyss, this journal, written during Nouwen's own spiritual crisis, is a life changer. Here is comfort. Here is love. Here is an acknowledgement of pain and doubt and suffering, and an honest heartfelt search for the way through it. If you're suffering, I can't recommend this book highly enough. You'll go back to various passages again and again. And when you do, they'll feed your soul, again and again.
Leah
This book paralleled my own inner journey so closely, I was in tears many days reading it. I found this book at a desperately sad time in my life. Broken into small chapters, thought chapters, you can read one a day, one a week or month. I would pick it up as I felt the need to be understood, and I felt that Henri Nouwen absolutely did understand what was going on in my soul. Very helpful in my journey to understanding myself.
Keith
This book was sitting on the desk in my room at the Capuchin Retreat Center when i arrived. During the few days i was there i opened it and spent some time in just the first few pages. This is a devotional that's meant to be used over a long period of time, slowly working through some deep inner issues. To experience Nouwen bare his soul is to connect with your own inner turmoil and work through it alongside him.
Gwendolyn Plano
Decades ago I read Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain. Nouwen's book (The Inner Voice of Love), has similarities that I find enduring. Who doesn't struggle with life's challenges and at times feel incredibly alone? When a spiritual leader can admit his or her own vulnerability, I see them as walking with me. So it is with Henri Nouwen....another friend along the path to ultimate Love.

Jamie Park
Do not let the unassuming slender frame of this book fool you. It is, essentially, Christian counseling in a book. You can carry around a biblically sound therapist in your purse! Okay, but seriously Nouwen was a Christian psychologist so he knows what he's talking about. If you've ever had a knawing issue that you might know the 'biblical answers' to, but still find it eating away at you, pick a chapter title that sounds interesting to you and read it. I guarantee Nouwen's words will pierce you ...more
Stephanie Barrett
My very favorite all,time book,written by Henri Nouwen..a friend recommended the book
a very long time ago.,thus has become a good friend, that I read a bit at
a time. This book remains a favorite treasure. It was written during a time when
the author was suffering from,depression. His work is a gentle comfort to all.
Paulist Press
For those who have already read Nouwen, you'll find INNER VOICE similar to his other titles because of his personal immediacy, his thoughtful honesty. It is, unlike titles such as Return of the Prodigal Son or The Road to Daybreak, seemingly light. The shorter length and the absence of a narrative arc may give one the impression it is, perhaps, not one of his more significant works. But,for me, this is one of his best works--One I return to regularly. It is a collection of short to medium length ...more
Charis
I did not actually read this whole book. It was sort of weirding out my head--he makes many good points and yet it's all so focused on himself and his psyche that I couldn't possibly evaluate it with my own mind. Nouwen was a Catholic priest who really seemed to suffer from loneliness and isolation, to the point of psychosis (maybe?). I, too, have felt isolated, but I try to focus on God and forget myself to deal with it. Seems to work. He seems to try to deal with it partly by focusing on God a ...more
Phoebe
I was introduced to Henri Nouwen by my Youth Ministry professor, Dr. Patty, through an assignment that he had for one of our classes. At that time, his writings didn't resonate with me. About a year or two later, I was speaking interested in becoming a road pastor. I went online and found Michael Guido's e-mail address (former road pastor for dc Talk). I e-mailed him. He gave me his phone number. I called him and we spoke for about an hour. He highly suggested reading Henri Nouwen's books. This ...more
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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
...more
More about Henri J.M. Nouwen...
The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry

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“When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don't say to yourself "All is lost. I have to start all over again." This is not true. What you have gained you have gained....When you return to the the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.” 120 likes
“When people show you their boundaries ("I can't do this for you") you feel rejected...part of your struggle is to set boundaries to your own love. Only when you are able to set your own boundaries will you be able to acknowledge, respect and even be grateful for the boundaries of others.” 64 likes
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