Henri Nowen wrote this little book (and I say little, because it is) called, Making All Things New. It was truly interesting reading coming off the back of some of the stuff that Geoff and I have been contemplating since Forge about the pace of life and some of the things I’ve been thinking about personally – solitude and community – not polar opposites
It is a simple and quick read that holds quietly given suggestions that are thoroughly there and entirely applicable despite it being written some time ago.
Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life by Henri Nouwen is a short, clean, clear book about how to begin finding the peace of mind to hear the voice of God. The book’s epigraph, from Mark, is anchored in Jesus’ words: “Do not worry.” Nouwen acknowledges that worry is so ingrained in many people’s daily lives that it seems to be an integral part of positive achievement and self-protection. Yet he explains, with devastating directness, the destructive effects of busy-ness and its attendant habit of worrying, then shows how Jesus responds to these worries, and finally describes some disciplines that “can cause our worries slowly to lose their grip on us, and which can thus allow the Spirit of God to do his recreating work.” Nouwen’s voice sounds like that of the mentor or spiritual director that many people have always wished for: his authority stems from a talent for realistic comfort rather than forceful coercion. So when he writes the following words, it’s eminently possible to believe him:
A hard struggle is required…. But this struggle is not beyond our strength. It calls from some very specific, well-planned steps. It calls for a few moments a day in the presence of God when we can listen to his voice precisely in the midst of our many concerns. It also calls for the persistent endeavor to be with others in a new way by seeing them not as people to whom we can cling in fear, but as fellow human beings with whom we can create new space for God.-Michael Joseph Gross