Something Hardly Noticeable - Second Sunday of Advent
"A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him." (Isaiah11:1-2).
These words from last night's liturgy have stayed with me during the day. Our salvation comes from something small, tender, and vulnerable, something hardly noticeable. God, who is the Creator of the Universe, comes to us in smallness, weakness, and hiddenness.
I find this a hopeful message. Somehow, I keep expecting loud and impressive events to convince me and others of God's saving power; but over and over again I am reminded that spectacles, power plays, and big events are the ways of the world. Our temptation is to be distracted by them and made blind to the "shoot that shall sprout from the stump."
When I have no eyes for the small signs of God's presence - the smile of a baby, the carefree play of children, the words of encouragement and gestures of love offered by friends - I will always remain tempted to despair.
The small child of Bethlehem, the unknown young man of Nazareth, the rejected preacher, the naked man on the cross, he asks for my full attention. The work of our salvation takes place in the midst of a world that continues to shout, scream, and overwhelm us with its claims and promises. But the promise is hidden in the shoot that sprouts from the stump, a shoot that hardly anyone notices.
- Henri Nouwen
Weekend Retreat at Saint Andrew’s Abbey
Nov. 24-26, 2017
Nouwen One-Day Retreat at The Center@Bethlehem
April 8, 2017
Henri Nouwen Two-Week Intensive Class
Loyola School of Theology (Ateneo de Manila)
March 27-April 7, 2017
Nouwen Weekend Retreat - Abbey of the Transfiguration
March 17-19, 2017
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VIEW ARCHIVES >>
"I thank Wil Hernandez for continuing to study and disseminate the brilliant gifts and Gospel-centered ministry of Henri Nouwen. This book, and his two other previous studies on Nouwen, are now keeping us all on message! Wil has become a friend of a friend, who was an inspired friend to all who love the simple and wondrous Gospel of Life. His writings and his ministry will stand the tests of time, because Henri Nouwen saw and wrote from a bright and clear level that is always true."
- From the Foreword
Richard Rohr, O.F.M
Center for Action and Contemplation
"This book about the dynamics of the spiritual journey is
an excellent book and I heartily recommend it."
David G. Benner, PhD
psychologist, lecturer, and author
"Through the wisdom of Henri Nouwen, Wil offers us an
essential contribution to the field of spirituality. I highly
recommend his book for anyone seeking to bring their
spiritual life to new depths."
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
Director of Abbey of the Arts
"Wil's book is an important addition to the growing
corpus of Nouwen studies. While it makes for an excellent
introduction to Nouwen's thought, it will also not
disappoint the Nouwen aficionados."
Trinity Theological College, Singapore
"This work is both informational and inspirational. It
offers a significant contribution to the Nouwen materials
and is well worth reading on many levels."
author, spiritual director and retreat leader
"This book will be a delight to those who are walking the
journey with Nouwen; a challenge to those who question
the validity of such a journey; and a danger to those who
have domesticated the journey to their own liking."
M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.
author of Invitation to a Journey
"Wil is a teacher and a guide for all of us who wrestle
with the challenges and questions of journeying
spiritually in a secular society."
Sue Mosteller, CSJ
Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust
"Henri Nouwen and Spiritual Polarities is a masterful
guide through the vast landscape of
Henri Nouwen's thought."
Evan B. Howard
director of Spirituality Shoppe: An Evangelical Center
for the Study of Christian Spirituality
- "In this third book of his trilogy on Nouwen's spirituality,
Wil offers a considerable gift to those of us on the journey
toward Christian spiritual maturity. Scripturally based, his
clarity and humility of voice make
this book a compelling read."
spiritual director and author
- "Henri Nouwen's practice of 'befriending' is an invitation
to embrace our fullness precisely because we invite
both sorrow and love, untidiness and beauty, into
our exquisitely human world. Wil's portrait of
Nouwen's life of tension is
author of The Power of Pause
- "Applying Richard Rohr's insight of 'nondualistic
consciousness,' Wil offers a compelling portrait,
not only of Henri's tension-filled life, but the
inner terrain of nearly everyone who attempts
to resolve the complexities, contradictions,
and polarities of their spiritual experience."
Michael J. Christensen, PhD
Associate Professor of Spirituality, Drew University
"Wil's third book is well-written and helpful, containing
many gems of spiritual wisdom. I highly recommend it as
essential reading for a fuller understanding of Henri
Nouwen, and a deeper spiritual life in Christ."
Rev. Siang-Yang Tan, PhD
professor of psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary
- "Wil masterfully weaves Nouwen's words into a tapestry
that clearly and insightfully conveys the intricacies and
complexities involved in both/and thinking and its
ramifications for the living of life
and the doing of ministry."
author of Journey with Jesus
"This reflective and insightful book will help all ministers
and those who support them on the journey inward,
outward, and Godward."
Michael Horan, PhD
Chair of Theological Studies,
Loyola Marymount University
"Wil has a knack for summarizing Nouwen's prolific
writings without draining the life out of them. What an
important figure Nouwen is today, and what a great
service Wil provides in writing this book!"
Jerry P. Haas
spiritual director, Upper Room Ministries
- "Wil has already established himself as one of the leading
interpreters of Henri Nouwen's work. This final book in
his triology on Nouwen is a must read for Nouwen
enthusiasts and those seeking wholeness in our
fragmented, dualistic world."
Ken Brewer, PhD
Chair, Department of Theology at
Spring Arbor University
- "Nouwen is our generation's Kierkegaard. Like
Kierkegaard, he helps introduce us to ourselves.
Wil aids us in the next step; he wonderfully
introduces us to Nouwen. You won't be
disappointed in this book."
president, Oblate School of Theology
"Henri Nouwen has never been more wisely and warmly
presented than he is here. Wil has done a superb job of
giving us the great man at his best and most accessible."
compiler of The Divine Hours
"Henri Nouwen's writings—and the witness of his life—
have been a marvelous gift to the Christian community.
Wil's assessment of Nouwen's legacy—set forth here with
sensitivity and wisdom—is also a gift!"
Dr. Richard Mouw
president, Fuller Theological Seminary
- "Wil's work provides an insightful and integrative
overview of his spiritual life. As one who has been
privileged to be in Nouwen's presence, I found
myself saying 'Yes! Yes!' as I read. This book
truly brings him to life!"
author of Holy Listening
- "Wil has gloriously brought the tensions of Nouwen's
theology and life into a dance of tension and goodness.
This is a stunning book."
Dan B. Allender, PhD
The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
- "Wil has created as good a road map for navigating the
challenges and healing potential of the human journey
as I have read. Using his deep understanding of
Nouwen's words, he shows us the truth of Nouwen's
claim that 'suffering is not an obstacle to joy
and peace, but the means to it.'"
author and speaker
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