Reaching Out is one of Nouwen's finest works and may very well be one of the best treatments of Christian spirituality written in the twentieth century. In Reaching Out Nouwen describes the spiritual life as a series of movements. Thus, in order to proceed towards maturity in Christ he suggests that we need to move from: loneliness to solitude, hostility to hospitality and from illusion to prayer. This book is a sure guide that will help you learn how to accept yourself, love others more effectively and learn to love God more passionately.
With the clarity and depth characteristic of the classics, this spiritual bestseller lays out a perceptive and insightful plan for living a spiritual life and achieving the ultimate goal of that life -- union with God.
Nouwen views our spiritual "ascent" as evolving in three movements. The first, from loneliness to solitude, focuses on the spiritual life as it relates to the experience of our own selves. The second, from hostility to hospitality, deals with our spiritual life as a life for others. The final movement, from illusion to prayer, offers penetrating thoughts on the most mysterious relationship of all: our relationship to God. Throughout, Nouwen emphasizes that the more we understand (and not simply deny) our inner struggles, the more fully we will be able to embrace a prayerful and genuine life that is also open to others' needs.
Reaching Out is a rich book to be read, reread, pondered, and shared with others. "It does not offers answers or solutions," Nouwen cautions, "but is written in the conviction that the quest for an authentic Christian spirituality is worth the effort and the pain, since in the midst of this quest we can find signs offering hope, courage, and confidence."
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 spent the final years of his life teaching and ministering to the mentally and physically disabled at the L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. His Writings have touched millions of readers around the world, and since his death, recognition of their enduring value has continued to grow.