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Intimacy

May 10, 2007

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Intimacy, by Henri J.M. Nouwen, explores the following question: “How can I find a creative and fulfilling intimacy in my relationship with God and my fellow human beings?” Nouwen’s answers to this question describe the connections among friendship, romantic love, sexuality, prayer, and mental health. The book’s style is straightforward: “Each chapter is written because someone … asked a question,” Nouwen writes in the book’s introduction. “I wrote not to solve a problem or to formulate a theory but to respond to men and women who wanted to share their struggles in trying to find their vocation in this chaotic world.” Intimacy may be especially helpful for readers who serve in some ministerial capacity–the chapter on depression among seminarians, for instance, will be a cloud-clearing relief to many readers. However, Intimacy contains much helpful counsel for all Christian readers who are discovering their “seldom articulated and often unrecognized desire for a real home in this world.” –Michael Joseph Gross

Is love a possibility within our reach?

“We probably have wondered in our many lonesome moments if there is one corner in this competitive, demanding world where it is safe to be relaxed, to expose ourselves to someone else, and to give unconditionally. It might be very small and hidden. But if this corner exists, it calls for a search through the complexities of our human relationships in order to find it.”
— from Intimacy

Writing from his vast experience as a pastoral counselor, Henri Nouwen addresses the basic question, “How can I find a creative and fulfilling intimacy in my relationship with God an my fellow human beings?” He conducts a rich and insightful exploration into the balance between intimacy and distance, the problems in trying to develop lasting and productive relationships on all levels, and the connections between intimacy and sexuality, pray, faith, and the mental well-being of the minister. Intimacy is an essential resource for anyone struggling to grasp the profound implications of this most basic human needs.

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