“My entire approach to Christmas changed when I first encountered the writing of Henri Nouwen. Before reading him, I would sprint to the finish line taking too much of the noisy marketplace with me. Henri taught me the value of active waiting, how to find joy hidden in sorrow, how to remain hopeful in anxious times and many other truths that have made the Advent season much more meaningful.
“With all that is going on in our world in 2020, it seems to me we need the gifts of Advent more than ever, and Henri Nouwen, beloved Catholic priest and writer of thirty-nine books on the spiritual life, is a wonderful companion for the journey. Just this morning, I came across a letter Henri wrote in December 1980. Penned nearly forty years ago, it could have been written today.
“He writes, ‘The situation in our world is frightening and many people experience deep anxieties. More than ever we will be tested in our faith. I hope and pray that the Lord will deepen our faith during these weeks of Advent and will fill us with peace and joy, which belong to his kingdom. Hope is not optimism and I pray that we all will be able to live hopefully in the midst of our apocalyptic time. We have a promise and God is faithful to his promise even when we are doubtful and fearful.’ (Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life, Convergent Books, 2018).
Join us as we walk the Advent path with Henri Nouwen as our companion. We’ll draw out Advent wisdom from my book about the making of his spiritual classic, The Return of the Prodigal Son, speak with special guests, share some of his writing, and much more. Let’s deepen our faith together so that by Christmas day we awaken to hearts filled with the real gifts of Christmas—peace and joy.”
author of Henri Nouwen and The Return of the Prodigal Son: The Making of a Spiritual Classic