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Here and Now: Living in the Spirit

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  795 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Not a faint memory, but
happening right here and now, spiritual living
takes place in the present; the Spirit meets us in
the ordinary. These inspirational reflections by
Henri Nouwen succeed in convincing us that
God’s presence is reliable.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by The Crossroad Publishing Company (first published 1994)
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Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Here and Now was a recommendation by a dear Christian friend who knows how drawn I am to Buddhist teachings. Given that it was written by a Catholic priest, I cracked it open expecting to have (not entirely unpleasant) flashbacks to my Catholic upbringing. Instead, I found an incredibly open and nondenominational approach to living a moral and centred life which was not at all offensive to my slightly more secular approach to morality. The collection of musings by the author on various topics of ...more
Feb 24, 2009 rated it liked it
This is one of those books that I wish I liked better than I did.
"Here and Now" is a collection of short chapters on topics such as "Compassion," "Relationships" and "Suffering," each divided into very short meditations.
The author was a professor at Harvard, Yale and Notre Dame who spent the last 10 years of his life in a community with physically and mentally handicapped people. This is not a career move many people would choose to make. If I were a professor at Harvard, Yale or Notre Dame -- o
Courtney Huskisson
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Really great for personal spiritual reflection. You can take this book as slow or as fast as you want. As a whole it's an easy read, but each chapter breaks down to different topics and the chapters break down to different reflections on the topic. I enjoyed being able to take a slow pace and focus in on the truths at hand.
Wendy LeRoy
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book was written in a really simple, nice way. I loved reading a few passages before I went to sleep. Very inspirational. I want to read all things Nouwen now.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read! I think I folded down every other page.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautuifully written and very inspirational.
Joshua Lawson
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fantastic little book of meditations on the spiritual life. Nouwen writes like a man who has seen and heard the things of which he speaks.

"A new beginning! We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to a voice
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Father Nouwen is wise and gentle with his Godly musings. The chapter on compassion was original in thought to me. I will need to go back over that again and ponder. Some of the book felt a little disjointed.
He emphasizes something that I know to be true: our God is a personal God who knows us intimately and wants to be our lover and friend.
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
1994. The author says, “One day I simply sat down… and began to write… I found I was writing about myself, my friends and family, and my God, all connected in many intricate ways.” A collection of short pieces on various topics such as living in the present, suffering, compassion, relationships, joy.
Joe Oaster
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Henri Nouwen writes with such a gentle voice that I feel his sincerity. Nouwen is cited by many Christian authors I read, so I picked up this book. Almost every day (I read one chapter a day in the morning) I found a line that really touched me. He is surely an author I will read again. He shares his personal struggles and gives such great encouragement.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Here and Now: Living in the Spirit is a series of essays written by one of my favorite theologians, Henri Nouwen. Topics include Joy, Suffering, Relationships, and others. These reflections are perfect for personal daily devotions, but could also be used in a group setting since discussion questions are included in an appendix.
Josh Morgan
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book full of brief meditations from Nouwen on life with God. I found each section more compelling than the last, and this is a book I will return to over and over again to remind me of the depths of God's love.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick meditations— as Nouwen himself admits, no deep exegesis or intellectual treatise—on a variety of topics. Nice read but looking forward to reading more of his kind and thoughtful voice in a more unified collection.
Chris Theule-VanDam
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nouwen is my all-time favorite.
This was a re-read.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good, quick read to help one become more firmly rooted in the present in God's love--a nice collection of simple meditations.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some interesting sections but not a keeper.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Leslie by: Worriers
Shelves: spiritual
A pretty book with a pretty cover and some pretty prose. It felt so fluffy and lacking. I don't know exactly what I didn't like, probably nothing. It would be correct to say there was not enough to like, nothing particularly practical. Fluffy pretty words. Perhaps this is just not the right time for me to read this book. I shall read it again later when I grow up.
9-14-11 so i returned to this book after reading about St therese and somehow everything has changed, it seems like a new book. Perhap
Emily Markulis
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it

In lieu of a more traditional review, I'm going to use this space to record quotes from this book that really speak to me. Be warned: I just started reading it and already want to quote everything for future reference.

"Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: 'Thank you for being you.' Celebrating a birthday is exalting life and being
Circle of Hope Pastors
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
To be surprised by joy is something quite different from naive optimism. Optimism is the attitude that makes us believe that things will be better tomorrow. An optimist says: “The war will be over soon, your sickness will be healed, the depression will go away, the epidemic will be stopped…All will be better soon.” The optimist may be right or wrong, but, whether right or wrong, the optimist does not control the circumstances.

Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the wor
Wendy Wong Schirmer
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Full of gems to contemplate. Lovingly and simply written, this book is excellent overall for going back to basics in the Catholic spiritual life, especially if one has psychological/emotional stumbling blocks. An emphasis on psychology in pastoral work, after all, was one of Nouwen's strengths, and it is on full display here.

It is is good, contemplative reading at any time, but would make good reading for Lent: "the spiritual life," Nouwen writes, "requires a constant claiming of our true identi
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading Henri Nouwen's words is like warmth when you are cold. It just makes sense and you feel how passionate he was about God and people. He makes me feel like he cares, when I read his books. Everything seems simple and elegant. The things of God, coming across as pure and right, with each chapter.

Here and Now is such an amazing subject to pick up. Its about being present and aware of what God is doing in YOUR life. Nouwen talks about how lost we feel when we don't have meaning, when we are b
Lacey Louwagie
This was a nice book to read a few pages out of before bed to point my mind in spiritual directions. There wasn't too much in it that was earth-shattering, but it contained some good reflections to help put life in perspective. I especially liked what he had to say about family, relationships, and marriage, although I always wonder a bit when a priest waxes philosophical about marriage. I took down a lot of quotes from the book, but none that really jarred me or will stick with me long into the ...more
Christine Olson
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of several Henri Nouwen books that I've read.

I have gained useful insights related to fostering the spiritual dimension of my life from any publication that I have read of Henri Nouwen's. He is one of least rigid or dogmatic spiritual writers (written from a Christian faith perspective)whose publications I've read, and he writes in a very accessible way. I feel like I have enriched my life (and hopefully the lives of others!)with each reading of his many publications. I ofte
Jean Dory
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Father Nouwen has written many books. This is the first I have purchased, but I shall purchase many more! The postings are personal, insightful, faith-filled, and tremendously comforting and helpful. There is an index of topics at the back that's a big help when you have something in particular bothering you you'd like a little guidance with understanding and accepting, but basically I just read one or two little entries each day, taking perhaps 10 minutes to read and ponder. I found he set me u ...more
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
I read this too quickly. I would read this for something to ponder daily. it is almost like a devotion. The book is excellent, and it feels like Nouwen is right there talking with you. He covers huge topics such as love and relationships, who we are, family, death, joy and suffering, time, prayer, etc. I recommend this to anyone who is a follower of Christ. Period. I recommend it over much everything else.
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
The low-key tone and bite-size chapters make this an ideal place to meet the writer for the first time. Nouwen's thoughts kept me company on a recent trip abroad and instead of reading a chapter a day as planned, I read the book in a few days. The balance of different perspective, challenging ideas, and affirmed notions was just right. Helpful insights into spirituality; I especially appreciate his take on leaving family.

My first book by Nouwen but not my last.
Inna Turchyk
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the books which I always read when I feel lost or disappointed by some things, especially during hard times in my life. I bought it 3 years ago and since that time I always return to it and ask for help. This is not a book of advice, this is just some reading which helps you find peace and harmony, brings you understanding of simple truths. This book gives inspiration for reflection, because some issues raised by an author are very complicated.
Jane B.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a series of brief meditations on a variety of life changes. I really enjoyed the first half of the book. I was mostly bored by the second half, likely because it seemed more preachy to me. To be fair, Nouwen is a wonderful Catholic priest and it is to be expected he would come from the perspective of Jesus as the savior of the world. I think my challenge with with some of the meditations came from the fact that I don't identify with Jesus as savior.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
This is a personal book for Nouwen. It is “an extended personal statement of faith” (11) and covers “things that really matter to me” (12). In this book, Nouwen reflects on basic spiritual themes. His chapters on joy, compassion, family, and death are profound and inspiring. In the end, he invites us to continue our faith journey. This may be the best introduction to Nouwen’s spirituality available. Great spiritual reading for those who seek a deeper faith!
Brian Johnson
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superb book. My favorite that I have so far read by Nouwen. This is not a book to be hurried through. Each of these short meditations are dense with thought-provoking observations. Some readers may be put off by the lack of structure to the book. Each of the shorter vignettes are loosely grouped into 11 "chapters," but each can be read independently. Lots of quotable material.
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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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“Jesus.. says, 'Let go of your complaints, forgive those who loved you poorly, step over your feelings of being rejected, and have the courage to trust that you won't fall into an abyss of nothingness but into the safe embrace of a God whose love will heal all your wounds.” 56 likes
“One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are” 50 likes
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