01/10/2006

The Inner Voice of Love (by Henri Nouwen)

'The Inner Voice of Love' is a book of reflections by Henri Nouwen, a Roman Catholic priest who died just over 10 years ago. It was originally written as a private journal when he was going through a difficult period, struggling with loneliness and depression. Some time later, friends persuaded him to have them published to help others who might be going through similar problems.

It's an honest account, as the author considers his needs and values, and the way he sought to meet them without necessarily considering God. The introduction warns that it's not a book to read straight through, and that not everything will apply to all readers. Instead, it recommends looking at the titles of each reflection and choosing those which seem appropriate. However I decided to read a few a day for a week or two; it's not a long book (just under 100 pages) and I thought the progression might tell something of a story, as the author comes to grips with what's haunting him and moves forward.

I found it quite readable, but nothing special. Maybe if I were going through depression myself it might have been more meaningful, but much of what he says seems quite basic. It was a pleasant enough book, with some good insights, but I'm not sure I'll read it again.

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