Lifesigns: Intimacy, Fecundity, and Ecstasy in Christian Perspective

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Doubleday, Jan 1, 1989 - Religion - 128 pages
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"You cannot read Lifesigns and not be moved... This book will undoubtedly find its place among the classics of twentieth-century literature."
--Grand Rapids Press

The inspirational writings of Henri Nouwen have touched millions of readers all over the world. Much beloved as a lecturer, spiritual guide, and especially as an author, he communicated a profound message of hope that finds great resonance in today's world.

In his now classic work Lifesigns, he explores what he saw as three of the most vital aspects of his ministry. The first of these is the Gospel invitation to intimacy, which Nouwen describes as communion with God and relationship with others. The second is the call to fecundity, exhorting us to be open to a fruitful life of change and growth. And the third, the experience of ecstasy, extends the Gospel promise "that your joy may be full." Inspired by L'Arche, the worldwide network of communities where handicapped people and their assistants try to live together in the spirit of the Scriptures, Nouwen shows how these three elements offer the essential key to a life free from the domination of fear and filled instead with hope and love.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
13
INTIMACY AND FEAR
18
INTIMACY AND LOVE
23
INTIMACY AND SOLIDARITY
30
CONCLUSION
39
Fecundity
41
INTRODUCTION
43
FECUNDITY AND FEAR
45
CONCLUSION
68
Ecstasy
69
INTRODUCTION
70
ECSTASY AND FEAR
75
ECSTASY AND LOVE
83
ECSTASY AND A NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER
92
CONCLUSION
102
Signs of Life
105

FECUNDITY AND LOVE
52
FECUNDITY AND MISSION
62
A FINAL PRAYER
110
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About the author (1989)

HENRI J. M. NOUWEN was a Catholic priest who taught at several theological institutes and universities in his home country of the Netherlands and in the United States. He shared the final years of his life with people with mental and physical disabilities at L’Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. He died in 1996. He authored many books on the spiritual life, including Reaching Out, The Wounded Healer, and The Return of the Prodigal Son.

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