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Gracias!: A Latin American Journal

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  237 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this journal of his travels in Bolivia and Peru, Nouwen ponders the presence of God in the poor, the challenge of a persecuted church, the relation between faith and justice, and his own struggle to discern the path along which God is calling him. Nouwen puts his inexhaustible curiosity and hunger for religious experience gladly at the service of a worldwide audience.-- ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Orbis Books (first published 1983)
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It took me a loooooooong time to read this book.

Nouwen writes this book while spending time in South America trying to determine what he ought to be doing in life.

Looking back over months of reading, here are a few things I've hi-lighted. The hi-lights perhaps say more about me than reveal the message Nouwen wanted to convey. Here they are anyway:

1. Growing older has not made life with God easier. In fact it has become harder...(p.69)
2. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn't be
Jeffrey Nelson
Powerful journal that documents cross-cultural transition and a true heart of service from the perspective of a Dutch-born catholic priest.

The book was helpful for me because it formalized some of the parallel lessons while learning to live and receive grace in Costa Rica. The principle lesson being the inspiration for the title: ¡Gracias! – Thanks! On page 16 he states it most directly -

“Gratitude… becomes the central virtue of a missionary.”

The book is a collection of the author's journal entr
I know he's Henry Nouwen . . . but sometimes the patronizing/simplistic tone made me need to set down the book for a while. (It's a journal, so I guess this should be forgiven.) But also some really good thoughts, helpful as I spend a semester in another culture (similar to the one he encounters in ¡Gracias! - the location is the same, but the culture has certainly shifted in the last 20 years).
This is a wonderful read especially if you are going through your own discernment process. Gracias! chronicles Henri Nouwen's beginning journey that will lead him eventually to L'Arch. Reading his thought processes as he lives among the people of Peru is as if you are sitting down with Henri and having a good cup tea and conversation.
I quit. It's nothing like all the other Nouwen books I've read. I found it too slow and lacking in inspiration...which makes me sad because it's perhaps THE most important topic of our time.

...perhaps I'll pick it up again in the future.
Jacob Grady
May 01, 2007 Jacob Grady rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: definitely
For those who love latin america and are interested in its bloody history and current hardships, this is a wonderful peace giving book. Henry Nouwen is a great writer and this is his journal from his time in peru and bolivia.
Nouwen... nothing is better Nouwen. This was a GREAT book. It would be particularly relevant to people in times of searching and transition.

What a gifted author. I do think of him as sort of a patron saint.

I read this during my month in Haiti. Nouwen's journal of seeking his calling in Latin America. A great book as a precursor to a missions trip.
Oct 02, 2008 Lauren rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Latin America and/or serving the poor.
Recommended to Lauren by: Heather Mickelson
Many of the chapters deserve 5 stars, but many others were slow for me. I'd recommend it, the good chapters are worth the rest.
Henri Nouwen's inspires me, and rocks my worldview. I recommend this book for anyone searching a different perspective.
Laura McNulty
Reflections on the meaning and purpose of serving the poor from a Catholic perspective. Very honest and touching.
Julie Goff
Dec 23, 2007 Julie Goff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all
What a refreshing reflection on time spent in Latin America...but really, would we expect anything less from Nouwen?
This was an important part of my personal devotional in Central America.
Michael Mulberry
This book helped me to understand my time in Chiapas.
Chris Wheatley
read it in mexico... df baby.
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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 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 Inner Voice of Love

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