Spiritual Mentors – Henri Nouwen

The second sermon in our series of Spiritual Mentors, featured one of my all-time favorites: Henri Nouwen. I read many of his books over the years, but I was seventeen when I first read one of his books: The Genesee Diary.

Nouwen had a unique way of talking about and relating the spiritual life in easy to understand ways. I always appreciated reading his take on the spiritual disciplines, such as silence. He just had a way of teaching the basic principles of the spiritual disciplines in ways I could understand. He also was profound, yet in a simple and real way.

Sunday morning, as worship began, I took my place in front of the sanctuary and sat down. I checked to be sure my Bible was bookmarked to the appropriate scripture passage of the day and I was surprised to find that someone had placed a new bookmark in my Bible at this proper location. The bookmark was inscribed with two of the verses for Sunday’s reading. What a joyous and unexpected surprise! Thank you, whoever did this!

Some people bookmark their favorite biblical passages. Others even highlight verses or add written notes in the margins of their Bibles. You can always tell a well-used Bible against one whose spine is rarely if ever cracked. Are you reading your Bible? Each month in our church newsletter, we list suggested Bible readings and I am always amazed at how many people use this simple tool in their own devotional life. Others use The Upper Room or Our Daily Bread for their Bible reading habits. What are you doing?

Here are the quotes from Henri Nouwen that I used in my sermon this past Sunday. Look over them and mediate on them. Think deeply about them and be challenged by them. What are these quotes saying to you?

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Spiritual Mentors – Thomas Merton

This week we started a new sermons: Spiritual Mentors. The first spiritual mentor we introduced in the sermon yesterday was Thomas Merton. I was introduced to Thomas Merton’s writings when I was back in high school by my mentor, Tim Nickel.

Here is a list of the books by Merton I found useful over the years:
Bread in the Wilderness
Life and Holiness
Praying the Psalms
The Secular Journal
No Man is an Island
The Seven Story Mountain

And here is the official Thomas Merton website:
http://www.merton.org/

Are you doing anything different in your spiritual journey for the Lenten Season? Some people traditionally give something up for Lent but I encourage you to take something on this year. For example, read one of Merton’s books, just a few paragraphs or pages a day would be a great start. Don’t just read the pages and move on to the next thing. No, read the words and let them sink into your life. Ruminate over the words and go back to them later in the day. How do the words speak to you right now? Do they prompt any action from you?

Here are the quotes from yesterday’s sermon so if you cannot get hold of one of his books you can start with these quotes.

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