Just as a whole world of beauty can be discovered on one flower, so the great grace of God can be tasted in one small moment. - Henri J.M. Nouwen
This touching observation is central to the probing spiritual journal of Henri Nouwen recorded during his seven-month stay in a Trappist monastery. During this period he had a unique opportunity to explore crucial issues of the spiritual life and discover a quiet stream underneath the fluctuating affirmations and rejections of our little world.
Henri Nouwen participated fully in the daily life and routine of the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York - in work and in prayer. He relates here the typical human experiences and questions that had somehow prevented Christ from being the centre of his existence. From the early weeks in the abbey - dominated by conflicting desires and concerns - to the final days of Advent, when he has found a new sense of calm expectation, Henri Nouwen never loses his critical honesty.
Insightful, compassionate, often humorous, always realistic, The Genesee Diary is both an inspiration and a challenge to those who are in search of themselves.
'Even though I often give in to the many fears and warnings of my world, I still believe deeply that our few years on this earth are part of a much longer event that stretches out far beyond the boundaries of our birth and death. I think of it as a mission into time, a mission that is very exhilarating and even exciting, mostly because the One who sent me on the mission is waiting for me to come home and tell the story of what I have learned.' - Henri Nouwen at the time of his death in 1996
Henri Nouwen was one of the most popular spiritual writers in the world. Through more than fifty books he touched countless people with his compelling interpretation of Christian faith and the gospel. In part his impact came from his willingness to draw deeply on his own experience, inviting readers to share his joys, his anguish, and his spiritual journey. That journey led him from his home in Holland to America; from a series of prestigious academic posts to a Trappist monastery, to the poor of Latin America, and finally to Canada, where he found his final home in a L'Arche community devoted to the care of handicapped adults.