Life of the Beloved Quotes

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Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen
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Life of the Beloved Quotes Showing 1-24 of 24
“Aren't you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don't you often hope: 'May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.' But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“the real "work" of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me.

To gently push aside and silence the many voices that question my goodness and to trust that I will hear the voice of blessing-- that demands real effort. ”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“Our humanity comes to its fullest bloom in giving. We become beautiful people when we give whatever we can give: a smile, a handshake, a kiss, an embrace, a word of love, a present, a part of our life...all of our life.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“I kept running around it in large or small circles, always looking for someone or something able to convince me of my Belovedness.

Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved". Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“First of all, you have to keep unmasking the world about you for what it is: manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and, in the long run, destructive. The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended, or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: 'These feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God's eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity, and held safe in an everlasting belief.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“To be chosen as the Beloved of God is something radically different. Instead of excluding others, it includes others. Instead of rejecting others as less valuable, it accepts others in their own uniqueness. It is not a competitive, but a compassionate choice. Our minds have great difficulty in coming to grips with such a reality. Maybe our minds will never understand it. Perhaps it is only our hearts that can accomplish this. Every time we hear about 'chosen people', 'chosen talents', or 'chosen friends', we almost automatically start thinking about elites and find ourselves not far from feelings of jealousy, anger, or resentment. Not seldom has the perception of others as being chosen led to aggression, violence, and war.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“Our society is so fragmented, our family lives so sundered by physical and emotional distance, our friendships so sporadic, our intimacies so 'in-between' things and often so utilitarian, that there are few places where we can feel truly safe.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“Our lives are unique stones in the mosaic of human existence -- priceless and irreplaceable.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone - a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God's eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God's heart.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“The world is evil only when you become its slave.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
tags: evil, sin
“We may be little, insignificant servants in the eyes of a world motivated by efficiency, control and success. But when we realize that God has chosen us from all eternity, sent us into the world as the blessed ones, handed us over to suffering, can't we, then, also trust that our little lives will multiply themselves and be able to fulfill the needs of countless people?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“...real care means the willingness to help each other in making our brokenness into the gateway to joy.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“Am I afraid to die? I am every time I let myself be seduced by the noisy voices of my world telling me that my "little life" is all I have and advising me to cling to it with all my might. But when I let these voices move to the background of my life and listen to that small soft voice calling me the Beloved, I know that there is nothing to fear and that dying is the greatest act of love, the act that leads me into the eternal embrace of my God whose love is everlasting.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“If it is true that we not only are the Beloved, but also have to become the Beloved; if it is true that we not only are children of God, but also have to become children of God; if it is true that we not only are brothers and sisters, but also have to become brothers and sisters . . . if all that is true, how then can we get a grip on this process of becoming? If the spiritual life is not simply a way of being, but also a way of becoming, what then is the nature of this becoming?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“Yes, there is that voice, the voice that speaks from above and from within and that whispers softly or declares loudly: “You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.” It certainly is not easy to hear that voice in a world filled with voices that shout: You are no good, you are ugly; you are worthless; you are despicable, you are nobody—unless you can demonstrate the opposite.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“I am convinced that healing is often so difficult because we don’t want to know the pain.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“When love chooses, it chooses with a perfect sensitivity for the unique beauty of the chosen one, and it chooses without making anyone else feel excluded.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“The world is evil only when you become its slave. The world has a lot to offer—just as Egypt did for the children of Jacob—as long as you don’t feel bound to obey it. The great struggle facing you is not to leave the world, to reject your ambitions and aspirations, or to despise money, prestige, or success, but to claim your spiritual truth and to live in the world as someone who doesn’t belong to it.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“We often live as if our happiness depended on having. But I don't know anyone who is really happy because of what he or she has. True joy, happiness, and inner peace come from the giving of ourselves to others. A happy life is a life for others. That truth, however, is usually discovered when we are confronted with our brokenness.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“For me, God is the one who calls me the Beloved, and I have a desire to express to others how I try to become more fully who I already am.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“When we keep claiming the light, we will find ourselves becoming more and more radiant.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“One good way to listen is to listen with a sacred text: a psalm or a prayer, for instance. The Hindu spiritual writer Eknath Easwaran showed me the great value of learning a sacred text by heart and repeating it slowly in the mind, word by word, sentence by sentence. In this way, listening to the voice of love becomes not just a passive waiting, but an active attentiveness to the voice that speaks to us through the words of the Scriptures.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
“all the good things our world has to offer are yours to enjoy. But you can enjoy them truly only when you can acknowledge them as affirmations of the truth that you are the Beloved of God.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World