Editorial Review / Publisher's Information:
This is Henri Nouwen's "secret journal." It was written during the most difficult period of his life, when he suddenly lost his self-esteem, his energy to live and work, his sense of being loved, even his hope in God. Although he experienced excruciating anguish and despair, he was still able to keep a journal in which he wrote a spiritual imperative to himself each day that emerged from his conversations with friends and supporters.
For more than eight years, Henri Nouwen felt that what he wrote was too raw and private to share with others. Instead, he published The Return of the Prodigal Son, in which he expressed some of the insights gained during his mental and spiritual crisis. But then friends asked him, "Why keep your anguish hidden from the many people who have been nurtured by your writing? Wouldn't it be of consolation for many to know about the fierce inner battle that lies underneath so many of your spiritual insights?"
For the countless men and women who have to live through the pain of broken relationships, or who suffer from the loss of a loved one, this book about the inner voice of love offers new courage, new hope, even new life.
The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom is a collection of passages from Henri Nouwen's journals, written during a period when his self-esteem evaporated, his energy to work disappeared, and God seemed entirely unreal. This is not a book to be read straight through: each short chapter takes time to digest, because, like the following passage, each of Nouwen's thoughts has the raw complexity of real honesty:
Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body's deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body's superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity. --Michael Joseph Gross