Nobody can be a Christian without being a peacemaker. . . What we are called to is a life of peacemaking in which all that we do, say, think or dream is part of our concern to bring peace to our world., From the book
In these difficult times of fear, anxiety, war, and terrorism, Henris message of peace is needed more than ever. Though written twenty years ago, his description of the house of fear remains an apt definition for the world today. In words that have taken on a new urgency he calls us to leave the house of fear and journey toward the house of love and peace. . . , John Dear, S.J., from the Foreword
Henri Nouwen wrote this book twenty years ago as his personal response in a time of heightening Cold War tensions. Its publication now, in a new era of fear and violence, is particularly timely. On the one hand Peacework represents a passionate call to all Christians to embrace Jesus ethic of peacemaking as an unconditional, unlimited, and uncompromising demand. But Nouwen goes on to show that peacemaking is more than a matter of carrying placards or opposing war. It must begin with a life of prayer, a movement from the dwelling place of fear and hatred and into the house of God. The next step is to resist the powers of death, not just in the form of armies and armaments, but in our everyday selfishness and bondage to destructive consumer values. Finally we are called to celebrate life and to build communities in which love, forgiveness, and compassion bind us in solidarity with a wounded world.
'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.