So, on ‘The Big Read‘, I essentially run an online book club with a housegroup affiliated, but enjoying the thought that I can join with @pamjweb and a few others this advent in reading Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen.

The internationally renowned priest and author, respected professor and beloved pastor Henri Nouwen (pronounced Henry Now-win) wrote over 40 books on the spiritual life.

As Merton before him, Henri always stressed the relational. He writes very directly about our contemporary longings for meaning, belonging, and intimacy and, at the same time, integrates this with a powerful vision of service and social justice. Fr. Nouwen often used the three core themes of solitude, community, and compassion to help people enter into a fresh vision of the spiritual life.

Nouwen believed that what is most personal is most universal; he wrote, “By giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others.”

Read more at the Henri Nouwen Society, from a man who was a synthesist, valued community, and encouraged each to look for his personal journey … and also had his own battle(s?) with depression.

Advent begins the Christmas cycle of the liturgical year – running from the Sunday 4 weeks before December 25 and “are often thought to symbolise the four different ways that Christ comes into the world:

  1. at his birth as a helpless infant in Bethlehem
  2. at his arrival in the hearts of believers
  3. at his death
  4. at his arrival on Judgement Day.

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