Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

Out of Solitude Three Meditations on the Christian Life Invites readers to reflect on the tension between the desire for solitude and the demands of contemporary life This work reminds that it was in solitude that Jesus found the courage to follow God s

  • Title: Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life
  • Author: Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • ISBN: 9780877934950
  • Page: 471
  • Format: Paperback
  • Invites readers to reflect on the tension between the desire for solitude, and the demands of contemporary life This work reminds, that it was in solitude that Jesus found the courage to follow God s will, and shows that fruitful love and service must spring from a living relationship with God.

    One thought on “Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life”

    1. I have had an exceptional year when it comes to reading some really great books. This is another one to add to that list. Henry Nouwen is quickly becoming one of my favorite spiritual authors. He was a professor of Divinity at Yale, and yet somehow manages to say the most profound things using simple phrases that pull on the heart-strongs and make you go, "Yes, I've felt that way too!" This book talks about the importance of solitude, care, and expectation. He talks about how Jesus often withdre [...]

    2. This is such a slim, small book, yet it has depths of the deepest ocean within. First appering as sermons given at an university, its filled with sentences that strike you, in a good way. The main point is about seeking solitude daily to get closer to God and becoming a better person. The writing is in three chapters, each with a theme: solitude + action (solitude is needed for our soul not to get lost in pursuits of life); care (being there), not just cure; and on hopeful expectation for things [...]

    3. This is one of my favorite books to give as a gift. Great comfort and direction about how to understand your work--and it's place in your life. He works through the need for and joys of solitude. Then he explains the richness that a heart shaped by solitude brings to the community. He always ends with community. If you've read Nouwen, you'll find that his style in Out of Solitude is different from other works. I don't know the reason for this. But he uses words a small child would understand--I [...]

    4. Not finished yet, so can't say 5 stars, but it's on it's way! A couple favorite passages:(From Thomas Merton's forward)"The compulsion to cure is like action without a deep and silent center. We want to overcome problems and adversities and want to change at all costs. An alternative is to care for ourselves, each other, and our world. We wouldn't need change and cure if we were in a constant caring mode."From the first section"Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our lives are in dange [...]

    5. A short book, but thought-provoking. It's three meditations that were originally given as sermons. They are short and simple, but at the same time profound. I re-read two of them as soon as I had finished, so as to take them in better.The first one talks about the need for withdrawing to be alone with God; the second about the need for care - for empathy, and suffering alongside people - in a society that's more concerned with cure. The third is about living in expectation of better things, and [...]

    6. Nouwen packs a lot of simple, yet no less profound, wisdom into these three short meditations. Each is drawn from a Gospel lesson, with the interconnected focus of solitude, care, and expectation. An excerpt:'This is the great conversion in our life: to recognize and believe that the many unexpected events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects, but the way in which God molds our hearts and prepares us for His return.'

    7. Nouwen reflects on the importance of solitude in achieving balance in our daily walk. Time spent alone with God allows us to become more aware of His purposes and equips us to let go of the world's.This short but weighty set of three messages require time to percolate as there is much to contemplate.Highly recommended.

    8. Out of Solitude reads like a manual in advanced prayer - prompting more questions about one's self than it answers. The book contains three meditations on solitude, caring, and expectation. Each are scripturally-based and supported, giving the reader a firm foundation on which to assess their lives and discern the direction they wish to follow in light of these revelations.

    9. I found this short book very refreshing. I want to read more Henri Nouwen. His style is very personal. He writes humbly and honestly out of his own struggles. I like how each section opens with a gospel passage emphasizing Christ's quiet times of solitude with his Father.

    10. A wonderful tool for the comtemplative practice. I read it before bed and spend time in silence with God. Not a lot of words in this book, mostly a thought provoking ushering into moments of solitude.

    11. This was the first book I read by Henri Nouwen. Love this author. He is one of those teachers that teaches from the heart of one who has "been there".

    12. Inspiring and helpful, especially the first section on where we find our worth."e erroneous conclusion that life is one large scoreboard and before we are fully aware of it, we have sold our soul to the many grade-givers. That means we are not only in the world, but also of the world. Then we become what the world makes us. We are intelligent because someone gives us a high grade. We are helpful because someone says thanks. We are likable because someone likes us, etc""I liked this bit on caring [...]

    13. This book has become my go-to when I need to calm my mind at work. I'm in a helping profession, and it can be overwhelming. When it is, I take a break to read one meditation, and no matter how many times I've read them through before I find some new solace. Spiritual writings are hard to review, as spirituality and what speaks to someone's inner life can be so varied. However, I feel confident saying that even if Henri Nouwen isn't your cup of tea, you will appreciate the way he writes about Jes [...]

    14. Really short but really worth it. A brief stream of consciousness which demonstrates how time in a "lonely place" brings us back to a place where we genuinely care for others and experience fuller life ourselves.

    15. Nouwen weaves together the themes of action, solitude, care, community, and expectation together in these three meditations; perfect, I think, for caregivers.

    16. Jesus sought solitude. If we are to pursue his example, so should we. It will inform us and fill us with his love and security.

    17. Packs a punch The three meditations are short, but incredibly dense and powerful. While it's easy to skim (as I did), the content is so rich that you should take time to reflect and process the meditations in earnest.

    18. These meditations, used in a Lenten Study, serve to orient one spiritually and have some kinship with Buddhist meditation practices. I find Nouwen to be very down-to-earth and concrete in talking about spiritual life.The first meditation emphasizes the need for solitude, for withdrawing from the crowd from time to time to find one’s own personal center and to experience the world without the background noise of the marketplace, either inside or outside of one’s own head.The second meditation [...]

    19. My mother slipped her browny-orange copy from '77 into my bag before she left, her name in cursive inside the front cover, pumpkin-round and unslanted. Solitude, suffering, vocation, creativity, caring, community, joy, bread, wine. This is the Christianity and Nouwen is the type of christian I remember growing up with. Basically where all my values came from, although I no longer have faith. I read it out of duty and nostalgia, but found so much is relevant to my current reflections, because the [...]

    20. This was light but profound, and it's as if the author had read Bonhoeffer's "Life Together" because there were some places where the words were eerily parallel. This will be re-read again as there is so much to mine that I might as well post the entire contents. The author uses the biblical dialectic like Bonhoeffer does in the above referenced work. Here is an example from the Introduction:"I want to reflect on this lonely place in our lives. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our l [...]

    21. I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend and was not disappointed. It is brief and in the spirit of Nouwen's mystical writings. The book is essentially looking at how we can live meaningful lives as believers in a broken world. It focuses on three key aspects of Christian spirituality: solitude that detaches us from results-based identity, care that connects us genuinely with the hurting and expectation that gives us joy to press on despite the pain knowing that our healer is comi [...]

    22. "‎Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our lives are in danger. Somewhere we know that without silence our words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.""It is in this solitude that we discover than being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts."These are just a few of the many wise words Henri Nouwen relays to his readers in this tiny, thin little book. It's a bo [...]

    23. This small work is actually three sermons by Nouwen . The three themes are "Out of Solitude", "With Care" and "In Expectation" and mirror the life of Jesus. In solitude he came to understand and live in the fulness of his mission. He gained strength, clarity, focus and peace in his solitude.His solitude led him out into the world with a purpose to care for people, individually and collectively. Ultimately his mission was to point toward the expectation of his mission and fulfillment of the work [...]

    24. Superb!As its title suggests, Nouwen explores how solitude precedes community, silence comes before meaningful words, and empathy opens the door for compassion. Of huge import, he writes, "The friend who cares makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters." (p. 39). In terms of doing our own spiritual work, Nouwen reminds us how reframing our circumstances can be key in providing a curative salve for ourselves and for the people wh [...]

    25. Out of Solitude is one of the shortest books I have read but also one of the most impacting and thought-provoking reads in my life. The simplicity and depth of Nouwen's musings are like water that slowly corrodes the stone heart. This book has stirred me to take time in solitude with my Father in heaven, to care more for others, and to patiently wait for my Lord's return! I definitely recommend this book to anybody seeking a more profound walk with Jesus.

    26. Simple prose; comforting and very insightful.Profound thoughts on introspection , balance, and true compassion. “Our greatest temptations are boredom and bitterness.”“The paradox of expectation indeed is that those who believe in tomorrow can better live today, that those who expect joy to come out of sadness can discover the beginnings of a new life in the center of the old, that those who look forward to the returning Lord can discover him already in their midst.”

    27. Out of Solitude is a small book filled with only three meditations. out of solitude,with care,andin expectations. in slitude we can find peace in our Lord. Out of that peace comes the ability to care with open hearts and open hands.That caring leads us us to an expectation of hope in our Risen Lord, An expectation in patience and joy. Find a place or a time each day in your life, A place of solitude so that you may live your life out of that solitude where you meet Him.

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