“Timeless wisdom for life from one of the great spiritual masters of our age.”—James Martin, S.J., author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
In this never-before-published work of inspiration, the bestselling author of The Return of the Prodigal Son offers a compelling case for why Christianity is still relevant, beautiful, intelligent, and necessary in the modern world.
At one of the lowest points in Henri Nouwen’s life, he gave a series of lectures on the importance of following Jesus in an age of anxiety. Drawn from those talks, this new work reveals what sustained Nouwen to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus and led him to become an icon of compassion and vulnerability. Here he writes eloquently about calling and purpose, fear and hope. And he explains why—with so many choices available to the twenty-first-century seeker—the greatest reward for those looking for spiritual direction is rediscovering Jesus’s teaching on love. Along the way, Nouwen offers warm, insightful, practical habits to help readers navigate the narrow, sometimes arduous, but ultimately fulfilling road of conviction and faith. Praise for Following Jesus “Few writers have influenced me more than Henri Nouwen. These newly published lectures offer fresh and timely insights amid the familiar cadences of Nouwen’s prose, written from a place of deep anxiety but even deeper hope.”—John Inazu, professor of political science, Washington University in St. Louis, author of Confident Pluralism
“In Following Jesus, beloved pastor and spiritual mentor Henri Nouwen guides the reader on the journey he has traveled as a follower of Jesus. Without minimizing the anxieties, fears, and brokenness that touch down in every reader’s story, Nouwen gently leads the way into a life that centers on Jesus and engulfs the follower with God’s love, a sense of belonging, and a purpose that endures. Truly a wise and welcome word for anyone in this age of anxiety.”—Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women and Finding God in the Margins
About the Author
Henri J. M. Nouwen was a Dutch-born Catholic priest who left a highly acclaimed academic career at Harvard to share his life with people with mental disabilities as pastor of one of Jean Vanier’s L’Arche communities in Toronto, Canada. He was the author of thirty-nine books, including many bestselling and influential titles such as The Return of the Prodigal Son, The Inner Voice of Love, and The Wounded Healer. He died in 1996.
Gabrielle Earnshaw is a historian and founding archivist of the Henri Nouwen Archives in Toronto, Canada. She has been the adviser to the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust for eighteen years and is consulted throughout the world on Nouwen and his literary legacy. She is the editor of Love, Henri and You Are the Beloved, drawn from the works of Henri Nouwen.
“A compelling reminder that the primary truths of Christ’s gospel suffice for our deepest needs.”—U.S. Catholic
“In classic fashion, Henri Nouwen offers a compelling vision of what it means to follow Jesus that is stunningly simple and profoundly deep. In a world marked by debilitating anxiety, these reflections ground us in a way of being that helps us find our way to God and to one another. For nearly twenty years I have regularly come back to Nouwen’s words for encouragement and wisdom. As usual, he doesn’t disappoint. What a gift!”—Rich Villodas, lead pastor, New Life Fellowship
“Amid global catastrophe, in an age heavy with anxiety about our collective future, the gentle voice of Henri Nouwen calls to us across time and space. In his signature simple yet profound way, he invites us with love to turn our gaze to Love itself: the presence of God in Christ, who is with us always. May this beautiful collection calm our fears and make us more attuned to that healing presence.”—Katelyn Beaty, author of A Woman’s Place
“Henri Nouwen remains one of my favorite authors. His words are full of grace and substance. With both simplicity and laser precision, Nouwen invites us to follow Jesus wherever He leads. Opening the pages, I found my anxious heart instantly settled. Our daily lives often end in exhaustion, full of restless wandering or idle passivity. Following Jesus leads us from fear to love—and in the secure place of love, we find life and connection to God and one another.” —Vivian Mabuni, speaker and author of Open Hands, Willing Heart: Discover the Joy of Saying Yes to God “In Following Jesus, Nouwen offers us a lifeline from the all-consuming culture of stress and self, and invites us into an introspective yet others-focused faith, where Christ is at the center of our souls and our pursuits. I found great freedom in this book, especially in the prayers at the end of every chapter, and I know that in the digital age it will be a respite for every believer who is constantly ‘connected’ yet struggles with loneliness, comparison, and isolation. Henri is a gift to our generation, and the generations to come.” —Ashley Abercrombie, author of Rise of the Truth Teller, speaker, and cohost of the Why Tho? podcast
“The late Dutch Catholic priest and spiritual writer Nouwen unpacks what it means to be a follower of Jesus in modern society in this excellent posthumous collection of essays. . . . For Christians interested in Nouwen, this collection of his writings will serve as a fine introduction.”—Publishers Weekly