Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life

Article excerpt

LOVE, HENRI: LETTERS ON THE SPIRITUAL LIFE

Edited by Gabrielle Earnshaw (Convergent Books, 2016)

The spirit on display in Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life by Belgian priest and author Henri Nouwen came to mind the other day when I nearly got into a Twitter spat. A tweet I posted received what I considered to be an unnecessarily hostile response. I was momentarily tempted to repay this hostility and plotted how to inflict the most damage with the fewest characters.

Nouwen, who died in 1996, predated the social media era. Still, it is clear from his letters that he never would have shot off an ill-considered tweet or Facebook rant. Instead, even the shortest missives from Nouwen's pen are thoughtful. Some of this is likely thanks to the man himself, who displays a deep and genuine interest in each one of his correspondents, from longtime friends to complete strangers. Consequently, the letters possess a certain fearlessness in taking on almost any topic. …

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