Intimacy, Fecundity, and Ecstasy in Christian Perspective
"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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Fear is the great enemy of intimacy. Fear makes us run away from each other or cling to each other but does not create true intimacy. When Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, the disciples were overcome by fear and they all "deserted him and ran away" (Matthew 26:56). And after...