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Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,622 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Spiritual Direction gives us the unique and unrivaled experience of having Henri Nouwen as our personal spiritual director, answering our questions about the spiritual life in his wise, comfortable, and engaging style. With Nouwen's guidance, we can reorient our lives and open the door to true spiritual transformation.

Henri Nouwen, the world-renowned spiritual guide and
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by HarperOne (first published 2006)
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 ·  1,622 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the author's last book, published posthumously and representing an edited compilation of his work in this area. Therefore, one might expect it to differ in form and substance from his previous work; this would be a mistaken assumption. It is a very well-done piece of meaningful insight and practical application rolled into one.

As a discipline, spiritual direction is something that Henri Nouwen both practiced and preached, so to speak, serving in the role of spiritual director for many
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
provided much inspiration.

"it helps to realize that the Bible is not primarily a book of information about God but of formation of the heart. it is not merely a book to be analyzed, scrutinized, & discussed, but a book to nurture, unify, & serve as a constant source of contemplation. we must struggle constantly against the temptation to read the Bible instrumentally as a book full of good stories & illustrations that can help us make our point in sermons, lectures, papers, &
Luke Hillier
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is the first new Henri Nouwen book that I've read in a few years (after a deep dive into his work in college) and it was so much like returning to an old friend. I just find his words to be so comforting, gentle, and wise; it was exactly the book I needed for a more stressful and anticipatory stretch I was in. I particularly liked his thoughts around solidarity, downward mobility, and compassion here, but the book as a whole was great.
Stacey Lozano
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
I tried to read this semi-slow, but it didn't work out. The best way I suggest to read this as they do at the beginning of the book. Once straight through, and then once taking a chapter a week or month to work through the questions, topics, and ideas. There is a lot here which I can take away from the book, and I will probably go through it slower after I finish the trilogy.
Ann Gemmel
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful read. As was suggested - it is one to read through initially and then go back and take a chapter at a time. So much to ponder. I particularly was both challenged and touched by the chapters on community and service. This really is one that all Christ followers should read at some point in their spiritual journey.
Brenda H.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This posthumously written book still captures Nouwen's passion for ministry and spiritual formation. This book is filled with very approachable material and guidelines to implement these disciplines in your everyday life.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book! Nouwen’s intuition, gentleness, and brilliance converge to encourage and direct. So good!
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: devotional
As a young seminarian and pastor, I was profoundly affected by a book written by this psychologist, professor, and priest. As an old geezer, I was inspired by another book by the same author--an individual who practiced what he "priest" in that he left a prestigious position at Harvard and ended up fulfilled by ministering to a handful of mentally challenged individuals--trading influence on millions to influence on less than 10.

I suppose the secret can be found in a story he tells about talking
Edward Ortiz
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it

This book is a collection of articles, sermons, and other related works from the late Henri Nouwen, a catholic priest. The book is very interesting and informative but a word of caution for the readers. Some of Henri’s views are problematic but overall it is a good book, specially in the area of living in community. The book starts with a definition for Spiritual direction, that states, “it is a relationship initiated by a spiritual seeker who finds a mature person of faith willing to pray and
Bob Price
Dec 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Spiritual Direction is a series of lectures based on Henri Nouwen's classes and articles he wrote in that sense it is not necessarily a Henri Nouwen book.

But any chance to go through Nouwen's wisdom on spiritualty is a good one. This book is divided into three sections: looking within, looking for God in the Word and looking for God in community. He explores each of these sections with biblical knowledge, personal stories, and a deep insight into the nature of people.

The book is
Buddy Draper
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a compilation of essays and lessons from Nouwen brought together on this subject. I truly love and enjoy everything by Nouwen and I found this encouraging and challenging.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful little book on the topic of spiritual direction. The definition of "spiritual direction," as provided by the book is "a relationship initiated by a spiritual seeker who finds a mature person of faith willing to pray and respond with wisdom and understanding to his or her questions about how to live spiritually in a world of ambiguity and distraction."

The chapters of the book all have questions for titles. "Who Will Answer My Questions?" "Where Do I Begin?" "Who Am I?" "Where
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Best to slowly read small sections at a time...reminds us that we suffer from a fear of empty space, finding it hard to give up our work and preoccupations to create empty space...we fear the voice of God, not sure we would want to go in the direction God may call us to go. Reminds us the Bible is not primarily a book of info about God, but of formation of our hearts. Gave helpful methods of praying, meditating on scripture, and journaling. Author reminds us that all humans are limited in giving ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic to read.

A lot of questions I have about my own stage in life and what I’m becoming had light shed on them from this book. The book is divided into three parts: Looking within, Looking to God, and Looking to others.

Looking within asked questions such as, “where do I begin?” “Who am I?” “Where have I been and where am I going?” While the answers (and others I have personally) weren’t *completely* answered, they did provide a roadmap for me to travel.

Each chapter ends
Glenn Cameron
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was an agnostic for many years. I have opened to New Age spirituality in the past eighteen months. Organized religion is not something I adhere to so reading a book from a Catholic priest seemed strange to me. But Henri Nouwen shares truths that cross all religions and helped me open my own eyes and drop my judgements on religion.

It seemed with every chapter I would think to myself that there was nothing for me in the topic at hand, then I would be in awe of the words on the pages. There are
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read many books by Henri Nouwen on Spirituality. This book is amazing because it offers an almost a "how-to" book on forming small groups to explore one's own spiritual journey. When he was a young priest, Henri Nouwen understood spiritual direction as a formal relationship for supervision and accountability between a mature spiritual leader and a new priest or minister. Later in life, he preferred the term "spiritual friendship" or "soul friend." Anyone looking for spiritual direction ...more
Danielle Shroyer
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of essays and writings put together after Nouwen’s death. And you can tell- it lacks the feeling of wholeness that comes from an intentionally structured book project by one author. This isn’t to slight those who put it together; they did a great job. It simply is what it is.

As always, Nouwen has wisdom to share. Much of it you have likely read in other places if you are familiar with him. But I still found myself grateful for his voice.
J K Hoffman
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was good, even though it was, at times, clearly pieced together from different writings. I liked that each chapter ended with an exercise based on the material in the chapter. Although I didn't do all the exercises, I do plan to go back to do more of them in the future. And, I'm looking forward to the other two books in this series.
Crystal Bedell
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m so excited for having discovered Fr. Nouwen. This book is beautifully written and truly offers “wisdom for the long walk of faith.” Nouwen is transparent and vulnerable, a true human with insights that can only come from a spiritual leader. My only regret is that I must return my copy to the library. I’ll be adding the hard cover to my Amazon wish list and making this a top shelf read.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith is based on the writings of Catholic theologian, Henri Nouwen. The chapters are organized around ten of life's basic questions, such as "Who am I?" "What is prayer?" and "How Can I be of service?" I read this book as part of my daily devotions, but it would be quite appropriate for group study.
Valerie Ohle
God, if you're willing, please send me to a mountain top cabin alone with plenty of blank journals, pens, no distractions, and adequate sustenance for the next time I read this book.

I loved this. As I said in an earlier comment, I wish I'd read this before I attempted Foster's Celebration of Discipline. This was so clear, so practical. This is going on my must-read list.
Jen Heininger
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have yet to read anything by Henri Nouwen that I didn't love. He is so transparent in his struggles and moved thru life very honestly examining his sin. Great book on everyday struggle as well as living in community ("The Road to Daybreak" is another favorite of his along these lines.)
Joel Choong
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a really great book to think through Christian ministry direction. Parts of it sound like guided meditation, but they are good questions to ask, and good things for us to consider how God is speaking or making himself known to us.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I could, I would give this book 10, or even more, stars.
Jake Thurston
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-bffs-church
Another Henri Nouwen classic. So clear and thought provoking, putting a fresh twist on so many things that are essential to the Christian life but often get forgotten. Highly recommend!
JT Caldwell
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good introduction to spiritual direction.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book that made me think through some key aspects of spiritual formation. I particularly appreciated the way he connected being in community spiritual formation and service.l
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spirituality
I think I would need to read this book and discuss with someone. I just could not get into it.
Laurie Anthony
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book to read and reread - so much to think about and apply to my life.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible book, and while not long, is chock full of great stuff. I read it purposefully slow, so that I could really chew on all that was written. Highly recommend this one!
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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