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Paperback Wounded Prophet Book

ISBN: 0385493738

ISBN13: 9780385493734

Wounded Prophet

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Book Overview

Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Roman Catholic priest, was one of the most beloved and important spiritual writers of the twentieth century. Since his death in 1996, his stature has only increased; and his books, including The Inner Voice of Love , The Wounded Healer , and The Return of the Prodigal Son , have become cherished classics. For thousands of readers around the world, Nouwen's influence as a teacher and author is considered equal to, or greater than,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Wounded Prophet

I've found much inspiration from Nouwen's spiritual writings and was hesitant to read his biography, because I didn't want to separate the singer from his songs. Michael Ford did just that; he exposed the humanness of a writer that I thought to be exclusively spiritual. Ford paints a sensitive and colorful portrait of Henri Nouwen. He neither condems his frenetic, unsettling character nor canonizes the personality of an intensely gifted spiritual writer.The biography is a well-written account of a life of conflict that evokes admiration, humour, sympathy, annoyance, and irritation. Ford performs a wonderful balancing act offsetting the faults and flecks with abundant virtues.Nouwen's personal conflicts are revealed with such spiritual intensity that would have gained approval from The Wounded Prophet. Ford describes his dependence on others for love, recognition, even praise; his restlessness and inability to remain focused, except when writing; his tumultuous anxieties, which eventually led to severe depression; and the perpetual questioning of his sexuality. Ford has introduced me to someone whose company I would not enjoy; loud and animated, always distracted, unable to make a pot of coffee or launder his own shirts. But I also met a man whose life of unbounded love and compassion exceeded anything he wote.Michael Ford has written a truly spiritual book about a truly spiritual person.

An Honest Endeavor Per a tormented Beautiful Being

In reading this book, I don't know who initially exasperated me more -- (A) the author, Michael Ford, for divulging alleged secrets per my beloved mentor not here to defend himself; (B) Fr. Henri Nouwen, for perhaps deliberately hiding things at odds with his well-publicized vows and path or (C) me, for letting my curiosity get the best of me, and opening this provocative book in the first place. This work has forever altered the way I now re-read Fr. N's books, distracting my attention at times from his messages. After having had the time to think over the contents, I feel that Ford may be trusted. He seems to emanate a sincere respect, empathy, for his subject. Ford's insights ultimately were freeing for me: apparently, Fr. N. withheld his true feelings about ideas he himself encouraged, e.g., solitude. I have always felt that solitude has been overplayed by both Eastern and Western paths. My gut instinct was that Fr. N. needed a more balanced sense. As much as I loved him, his books, that I've read since my girlhood, his suggestions and emphasis on solitude, always made me feel a bit guilty for not regarding it as highly as he did. Now to read that he himself truly shared my wariness of its benefits was enlightening! It's sad that this loving person could not be true to his real thoughts, instincts. No matter how disillusioning this book is per Fr. N's inability to assert himself, it still confirms for me that he loved God, and had a burning desire to serve. Ford's book is densely packed with anecdotes -- Fr. N.'s interactions with students, colleagues, family. It was inspiring to see how this priest would humbly apologize, whenever he felt he'd wronged somone. It's sad that the love and compassion he yearned to give others, this beautiful being neglected in major ways to give himself.

A great biography!

Having read all of Henri Nouwens works I was suprised to read that there was so much about him I didn't already know. Ford's illuminating portrait gives me a better appreciation for Nouwen's work.

A sensitive and insightful look at Nouwen.

Having read and admired Henri Nouwen's writings for many years, I was reluctant at first to take a dip into Ford's biography. Might the reality of Nouwen's personal struggles diminish the power his writings have for me? Ultimately, however, I find that knowing Nouwen better has only made me all the more appreciative of what he was able to accomplish in his life and and his words.

An Outstanding Honest Portrait of Henri Nouwen the Man

This is the most outstanding biography of Henri Nouwen written to date. Ford did a wonderful job in researching Nouwen's life and in being honest about his discoveries.There was never any question in my own mind of the gifts which Henri Nouwen offered to his readers as a direct result of his own personal human-ness; his own imperfections -- his woundedness. The first biography publised by Nouwen's friend from Holland was extremely poor. It was the perfect little boy grows up to be perfect and prophetic saint story. The author of that work indicates he set aside his personal knoweldge of Nouwen for the sake of greater objectivity. I believe the best thing a friend undertaking a biography can do is tell the story of the person they knew well. Ford through his interviews truly captures the special nature of Henri Nouwen as a man, a psychologist, a theologian, a priest and writer. He tells the story of the Wounded Henri -- esentially the story Henri told us in his own works -- most especially in From Anguish to Freedom to private journal Nouwen kept while in treatment which he allowed to be published the year he died.The human Henri, in his own quest for centeredness, in his own flawed manner, wrote of themes which seem somewhat universal to the human condition. Michael Ford captures this Henri and reveals the genesis of much of his gifted writings.I would recommend this book, Robert Durback's revised "Nou"wen Reader", Nouwen's own "Wounded Healer" and From "Anguish to Freedom" as the four and most amazing portraits of the true Henri.It's a shame that editors kept him on a tight reign when he wanted to be more honest in his writings later in life. To hear Henri speak of his own struggles is a gift we mostly indirectly get a glimpse of in his books. Michael Ford's work gives a wonderful background of the complete Nouwen.Henri Nouwen was an inspiration to me throughout most of my adult life. He continues to be so in his death. His woundedness only adds to my appreciation of his willingness to write and to share.I believe Nouwen will be eventually considered a very significant spiritualist in more years to come as people re-read his works with new eyes and a whole new audience is able to have the opportunity learn about this gifted man in future years. In his death, whie far too young, Nouwen has much to teach us through his written word and through the post-humous work he leaves us in his writings now being widely re-published.I am confident that Nouwen is now im the embrace of the Father in Heaven and has finally found true peace and love in his death. He needs to search no longer.An outstanding, honest and depthful coverage of the life and struggles of a contemporary holy man.Highly recommeded!
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