“For Henri Nouwen, community is a basic need and hunger of the human heart. It is a place of care and celebration, the place where our wounds and weaknesses are exposed, a sheltered place for the confession of sin and brokenness, and a house of love where we can receive forgiveness and offer it in return.”
—From the Introduction by Stephen Lazarus
Henri Nouwen wrote and spoke often about community during his life and ministry as pastor, priest, professor and prolific author. His search for community propelled his writing and many of his most significant life choices, including his decision in 1986 to leave his teaching duties at Harvard Divinity School to serve as chaplain to the L’Arche Daybreak community in Richmond Hill, Ontario. There, living alongside those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their assistants, his understanding and commitment to community ripened and matured. And yet, surprisingly, he never wrote a book on the subject.
Drawing on previously unpublished material as well as a number of his articles over many years, Community provides a complete picture of Nouwen’s understanding of Christian community and why he felt it to be such a necessary and integral part of the spiritual life in all its many dimensions.
“Essays, by turns inspiring, challenging, and sometimes achingly human, on one of the most important topics of our age—by one of our age’s most important spiritual masters.”—James Martin, SJ, author, Learning to Pray
“Community presents ten chapters that are at the heart of the Gospel! Solitude and silence are the anchors that stabilize. Action for justice is the result. But the heart of Community revealed by Nouwen is that it is our similarities that lead us to compassion and oneness. This message is good news for these challenging and divided times.”—Simone Campbell, SSS, author, Hunger for Hope: Prophetic Communities, Contemplation, and the Common Good