More About this Book

This book began as an invitation from a publisher for Nouwen to write a book about the Christian life for a Dutch audience.  Nouwen responded by suggesting that he write letters on this topic to his nineteen-year-old nephew Marc, the son of his sister Laurien.   In the end, the focus shifted to Nouwen ideas about Jesus and the meaning of our existence.  He continued to use an epistolary format, but the text was written for publication with a far wider audience in mind. Nouwen himself describes the book as ‘a log of a spiritual journey…The letters in this book witness first and foremost, to my personal dealing with the life of faith.” He hopes that “those who are asking themselves what it means to lead a spiritual life will be helped a little by this book.”  There are seven letters in total written from February to September 1986, while Nouwen lived with Jean Vanier and others at L’Arche Trosly-Breuil, France.  Includes an index of biblical quotations.

Themes: Jesus, the Church, Eucharist, Meaning, Purpose, Life of the Spirit, Death, Spiritual Freedom, Suffering, Latin America, Compassion, Memory, L’Arche, Downward Mobility, God’s Love, Love, Following Jesus, Loving Your Enemies, Philippines, Friendship, Discipline of the Heart, Listening, Spiritual Reading, Catholicism, Isenheimer Altar, Making God Visible, Non-violent Love, Violence, Marthe Robin, hiddenness, Saints, The Bible

Letter to Marc about Jesus; Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World; originally published in Dutch as Brievan aan Marc: Over Jezus en de Zin van Het Leven (Lannoo, 1987)

Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd., 1988

Praise for "Letters to Marc About Jesus"

"Henri Nouwen never disappoints those who are seeking a deeper relationship with God. The way to life in Him is practically presented in a way that points to the benefits, albeit difficult, and joys of trust in God."
"Henri Nouwen is basically the Mr. Rogers of spiritual writers. His love and attention and intimacy with Jesus are all over this very brief but profound book of letters written to his nephew Marc."
"This book is a helpful reflection on Christian spirituality, and could be a meaningful gift to a graduate or person who is new to Christianity."

Help share Nouwen’s spiritual vision

When you give to the Henri Nouwen Society, you join us in offering inspiration, comfort, and hope to people around the world. Thank you for your generosity and partnership!

Donate Today