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Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  265 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
“Henri Nouwen was one of the great spiritual masters of the modern age. His beloved writings have helped millions understand that no matter where we are, God can meet us there. Read this brand-new compilation of his writings and conferences, and let Henri Nouwen accompany you—with his trademark wisdom, acuity, common sense, erudition and, most of all, compassion—and help y ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by HarperOne (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 19, 2015 Stacey rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015

Second in the trilogy. This book suggests it is best to be read slowly and with a group. The book covers movements that we take as spiritual beings. Two examples from the index are "from opaqueness to transparency" and "from exclusion to inclusion." We don't necessarily make these movements in the order the book was written, but rather we do all these things at different paces depending on who we are and our maturation level. I definitely received a bit to think about, even reading it quic
Feb 28, 2012 Jeremy rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-life
I found the first third of the book to be incredibly rich and I am looking forward to practicing a great deal of what Nouwen discussed. From that point, it seemed to me that the book lost focus and force. This was to the extent that I started becoming concerned with how Nouwen was describing the Church; he came across as a bit of a universalist.

SO, I say read this until your brow furrows, and then toss it aside. The baby is way too good to throw out with the bath water.
Joe McFadden
Apr 17, 2016 Joe McFadden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the SpiritThis is Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird second compilation (in a series of three books) of Nouwen’s works The first in this series is “Spiritual Direction” which you can read a review of here. The 3rd book in this series of Nouwen’s “Spiritual Trilogy” is “Spiritual Discernment” which I have already began reading among some other books currently.

This book is compilation of a variety of Nouwen’s previously published and some un
Jan 31, 2012 Jeremy rated it really liked it
This posthumously published volume traces Nouwen's thoughts on movements (rather than steps) of spiritual formation. Although the emphasis is an ongoing, almost cyclical journey, the book is divided into three progressive movements: Early, Midlife, and Mature.

The early movements are: (1) Opaqueness to Transparency; and (2) Illusion to Prayer.
The midlife movements are: (3) Sorrow to Joy; (4) Resentment to Gratitude; and (5) Fear to Love.
The mature movements are: (6) Exclusion to Inclusion; and (7
Karen Masso
Jan 15, 2015 Karen Masso rated it it was amazing
"Ultimately, for Nouwen, the spiritual journey is not to be found in the pursuit of perfection but in the practice of contemplative prayer leading to community and mission."

Nouwen would often speak about many poles that we slide back and forth between throughout our spiritual journeys, like opaqueness and transparency, resentment and gratitude, fear and love, exclusion and inclusion. After his death, seven polarities were compiled into this book.

I find comfort in the idea that we can rest solidl
Jun 22, 2015 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had an opportunity to read a couple of books during my time of sabbath at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani this past week. One of those books was Henri Nouwen's posthumously-written, "Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit." This is the second in a posthumous trilogy by Nowen, Michael Christensen (a former student of HN's) and Rebecca Laird. Like all of Nowen's writings, it offers in insightful genius for Christian life and practice. While it is suggested to be read with ...more
Jake Owens
May 16, 2014 Jake Owens rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I used to really avoid Nouwen due to some misunderstandings about the core of his message; I'm glad I moved past that, because this book is brilliant.

A healthy primer on spiritual formation, this is a vital book to anyone who takes their faith seriously. Without these sort of habits and practices, you're just looking at a social movement. The social movement of Christianity is vital and important and often overlooked, but if we abandon the spirituality element, then we've missed the point entire
Dec 10, 2013 Glen rated it it was ok
I normally love Nouwen and this book contains much of his wisdom that I have grown to appreciate. That said, I felt that his views on spiritual community blurred biblical lines. His desire for compassionate embracement implies an unconditional acceptance that I find difficult to accept whole heartedly when I reason through Scriptures.

That said, I always am inspired by much of his thought so I recommend the book with this caveat of discerning those aspects of how the Word calls us to deeper holi
Nov 28, 2013 Keith rated it really liked it
This book, based on a variety of Nouwen's teachings, pulls together areas of spiritual development. These areas are split into three categories: Early Movements, Midlife Movements, and Mature Movements.

i found the last two movements to be most interesting:

6. From Exclusion to Inclusion
7. From Denying to Befriending Death

The epilogues delves into "Journey Inward, Journey Outward" and touches on the concept that we must first journey inward to discover Christ and ourselves in order to then find
Nov 10, 2015 Connie rated it really liked it
I used this book for spiritual direction in the prison. The woman I had hoped it would stimulate did not respond to it. However, it is good and I will try again!
Benjamin Vineyard
Feb 26, 2012 Benjamin Vineyard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When Henri Nouwen writes, I enjoy reading. His way of writing about the Christian life makes excellent sense both to the witness of Scripture and the personal (pastoral) experiences people go through.

Henri Nouwen: Spiritual Formation (Stages)

Early Movements:
1.) From Opaqueness to Transparency
2.) From Illusion to Prayer

Midlife Movements:
3.) From Sorrow to Joy
4.) From Resentment to Gratitude
5.) From Fear to Love

Mature Movements:
6.) From Exclusion to Inclusion
7.) From Denying to Befriending Death

Aug 18, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
Very insightful. This book will stay with me for a long time. It speaks to the heart.
Jul 09, 2016 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Like everything by Nouwen, perfect.
Donald Linnemeyer
This was a really helpful work on spiritual development. Some great insights, and surprisingly, a fair amount of concrete, practical help, which seems rare in books like these.

The only significant problem I ran into was that it lacked a little cohesion, but it's really not bad considering it's actually a bunch of Nouwen excerpts pieced together by two of his students.
Heather Shaw
Sep 17, 2012 Heather Shaw rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
This was my first introduction to Henri Nouwen. It definitely made me want to read more Nouwen, but I did not like the format of this book. It's set up as a kind of devotional, and the format makes it almost impossible to tell when you are reading Nouwen and when you are reading supplemental material by the editors. Frustrating.
Apr 05, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Classic Nouwen - thought-provoking, raw, extremely personal. The chapter on embracing death still has me thinking. Invitations and ideas for spiritual practices at the end of each chapter were especially helpful in digging deeper into yourself and each topic.
Oct 20, 2013 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
It was not what I had hoped for as it was based on the christian faith and did not branch into any other forms of movement of the spirit. To someone looking solely for a christian view point, you may find this of interest. Being Buddhist, not so much.
Jun 03, 2014 Diana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
I truly enjoyed this book and gained a lot from it. Especially since I was part of a book study group and also learned a lot from others in the group. I love the way he writes. And it made me challenge thoughts and some spiritual practices.
Nov 19, 2014 Mare rated it liked it
The book was posthumously published and is part of a three part series. I read it because I enjoy Nouwen's work. However I recommend it more for the professionals. I do not recommend this for someone new to Nouwen's work.
Jul 07, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Still in the early chapters with my spirituall book sharing group and loving it. Just like so many other Nouwen books, it reaches into the soul and touches me as if Nouwen has also felt the same feelings in his journey.
Laurence Martins
May 08, 2014 Laurence Martins rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the read.

Good book as a devotional practice and initial guide for a spiritual journey.

Nouwen speaks to the heart...
Mar 24, 2012 Zach rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking, heart challenging and well compiled; this collection of Nouwen's thoughts helped me go deeper into my own heart and spirit and connect with the Holy Spirit in a new and fresh way.
May 22, 2015 Lydia rated it it was amazing
A very great, inspiring, and challenging read. Would love to review this book each year.
Dec 28, 2011 Maureen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This book blew my mind. Covering core topics (for me) on resentment, judgment, gratitude, humility, inclusion and servanthood- nouwen's words and experience blessed me deeply
Rev Gary
May 11, 2011 Rev Gary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nouwen
This book is totally amazing. It is one of those books that every time you read it you find something new.
Jun 14, 2013 TJ rated it liked it
Shelves: ministry
One drawback may be that I didn't read this through- took a while to read it. So not so powerful
Apr 19, 2015 Betsey rated it really liked it
Read slowly ... reflect ... or as Eugene Petersen would say "eat this book."
Nov 06, 2010 J.A. rated it it was amazing
Would read this again, and again. Solid, inspiring, challenging. Important.
Oct 10, 2011 Timothy rated it really liked it
Thought I was reading Spiritual Direction! oops... I will now though!
Margaret Chind
Jul 24, 2010 Margaret Chind marked it as to-read
Recommended to Margaret by: Emily Grandstaff
*Thanks to Emily Grandstaff of HarperOne for providing a copy for review.*
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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...

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“We often say, “I am not very happy. I am not content with the way my life is going. I am not really joyful or peaceful. But I don’t know how things can be different, and I guess I have to be realistic and accept my life as it is.” It is this mood of resignation that prevents us from actively naming our reality, articulating our experience, and moving more deeply into the life of the Spirit.” 3 likes
“Whereas discipline without discipleship leads to rigid formalism, discipleship without discipline ends in sentimental romanticism.” 2 likes
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