About Henri Nouwen's Writing
Photo by Kevin Dwyer
In the preface to his groundbreaking book, The Holy Longing, (Doubleday, 1999) Ronald Rolheiser refers to Henri Nouwen as "the spiritual writer who most influenced our generation." Dedicating his book to Nouwen, Rolheiser refers to him as "our generation's Kierkegaard," summing up the special appeal in his writings and lectures that drew so many readers and seekers:
"By sharing his own struggles, he mentored us all, helping us to pray while not knowing how to pray, to rest while feeling restless, to be at peace while tempted, to feel safe while still anxious, to be surrounded by a cloud of light while still in darkness, and to love while still in doubt."
Nouwen talked about writing as source of great pain and anxiety but “...every time I overcome these fears and trust not only my own unique way of being in the world, but also my ability to give words to it, I experience a deep spiritual satisfaction. . . . What I am gradually discovering is that in the writing I come in touch with the Spirit of God within me and experience how I am led to new places.” (“Reflections on Theological Education”)