By Henri J.M. Nouwen
When Henri Nouwen died in 1996, he left behind a treasury of personal papers. The largest part of this archive, notes Gabrielle Earnshaw, the editor of Love, Henri, was his correspondence. “Over his lifetime Henri received more than 16,000 letters,” she writes in her introduction. “He kept every postcard, piece of paper, fax, and greeting card that arrived in his mail. And he responded to each of them.”
Love, Henri consists of letters that span more than two decades – from his years as a professor, to his time as a visiting Trappist monk, to his missionary work in Latin American, and finally to his role as pastor of a community with people with disabilities. “Each letter in this volume tells a story,” writes Earnshaw. “Together they serve as an inspiration that inner peace and freedom are attainable. Henri saw our struggles not as ‘problems’ to be overcome but as gateways through which we can learn generosity and tenderness.”
Shedding light on the sacred longings of the human heart, these deeply personal letters from one of the great spiritual teachers of our age offer not only wisdom but practical insight into what it really means to live and lead an authentic spiritual life.