Book: Life of the Beloved
Author: Henri M.J. Nouwen
Chapter 1: Being the Beloved
―Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply. It is like discovering a well in the desert. Once you have touched wet ground, you want to dig deeper. (p. 37)
Chapter 2: Becoming the Beloved
―When our deepest truth is that we are the Beloved and when our greatest joy and peace come from fully claiming that truth, it follows that this has to become visible and tangible in ways we eat and drink, talk and love, play and work‖ (p. 47).
Chapter 3: Taken
How do we get in touch with our chosenness when we are surrounded by rejection? (p. 58-61)
1) Keep unmasking the world around you for what it is: manipulative, controlling, power-hungry and destructive. Despite the many lies that the world tells me about who I am, I must remind myself that I am God‘s beloved.
2) Keep looking for people and places where your identity as God‘s beloved is confirmed.
3) Celebrate your chosenness constantly.
Chapter 4: Blessed
―When we are thrown up and down by the little waves on the surface of our existence, we become easy victims of our manipulative world, but, when we continue to hear the deep gentle voice that blesses us, we can walk through life with a stable sense of well-being and true belonging. (page 73)
-The real work of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me. (page 75)
―Claiming your own blessedness always leads to a deep desire to bless others. The characteristic of the blessed ones is that, wherever they go, they always speak words of blessing. (page 82)
Chapter 5: Broken
Our wounds are often an essential part of the fabric of our life. ―Embracing it and bringing it into the light of the One who calls us the Beloved can make our brokenness shine like a diamond. (p. 100)
―When we keep listening to the voice calling us the Beloved, it becomes possible to live our brokenness, not as a confirmation of our fear that we are worthless, but as an opportunity to purify and deepen the blessing that rests upon us. (page 98)
Chapter 6: Given
―All we live finds its final significance in its being lived for others. (page 105)
―Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others. (page 106)
―Beyond all our desires to be appreciated, rewarded and acknowledged, there lies a simple and pure desire to give. (page 106)
―In our highly competitive and greedy world, we have lost touch with the joy of giving. We often live as if our happiness depended on having,‖ ― [but] true joy, happiness and inner peace come from giving ourselves to others.―A happy life is a life for others. (page 109)
―Just as bread needs to be broken in order to be given, so, too, do our lives. (page 111)
―Our gifts are the many ways we express our humanity. They are part of who we are: friendship, kindness, patience, joy, peace, forgiveness, gentleness, love, hope, trust and many others. These are the true gifts we have to offer to each other. (page 114)
Henri Nouwen calls death ―a final act of giving. (page 116)
Chapter 7: Living as the Beloved
―The unfathomable mystery of God is that God is a Lover who wants to be loved. Everything in life becomes and expression of the divine 'Do you love me?' (page 133)
―Eternal life is not some great surprise that comes unannounced at the end of our existence in time; it is, rather the full revelation of what we have been and have lived all along. (page 138)