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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life Altering Power of a Simple Truth
During a time of personal uncertainty, emptiness and sadness, the mere title of this book moved something inside of me; enough to purchase it with the strong intent of reading it, later that evening. Needless to say, I tried several times, but never felt in the mood, although, I knew it would be a good read.
Six months later, experiencing the same feelings, I took a...
Published on Nov. 1 2003

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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This book was recommended to me but I was disappointed with it.
The content seemed more philisophical than practical......just not my style.
Published 4 months ago by Susan Sommer


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life Altering Power of a Simple Truth, Nov. 1 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (Paperback)
During a time of personal uncertainty, emptiness and sadness, the mere title of this book moved something inside of me; enough to purchase it with the strong intent of reading it, later that evening. Needless to say, I tried several times, but never felt in the mood, although, I knew it would be a good read.
Six months later, experiencing the same feelings, I took a trip to visit some terminally ill, elder family members and carried this book, as part of my reading.
Well!! A good read doesn't begin to describe this book!! It is powerful, enjoyable, moving, easy to read, entertaining, thought provoking, emotional, educational, nurturing and full of love. WOW! All that packed into 119 pages! It is simply written, as though, the author was conversing with me and yet, in other parts, I could hear the Voice of God telling me very simply, that I was BELOVED, a child of His. The power of this book is so Amazing!! As, I write these words, I have an intense feeling of being loved, emotional stirrings in the bottom of my gut and goosebumps on my arms. I am more in touch with God in my daily life, His loving and tender Presence and Voice everywhere, in everything. This book has changed my prior feelings of emptiness, sadness and uncertainty to a more joyful, simple, thankful, childlike approach to living, a sense of peace within myself, a clarity and certainty of my path in life and a powerful, moving love for God in my moment to moment living. Is my life 100 % perfect? Yes, and No, but as I work with God towards that moment of Utopia; I am thankful, centered and at peace in the knowledge that I am BELOVED, safe in God's Love for me and that everything will unfold, exactly as it is meant to be for me, with my prayer,love,faith and willingness to see God's message for me. This book has not only energized my faith, but also my life perspective, direction and relationships. Please note, as a Renaissance type of person and avid reader of all types of books, never before have I felt the need to review a book. This is a timely and perfect book for our high anxiety modern times. This book is on my gift giving and sharing list. Life of the Beloved by Henri J.M.Nouwen is a MUST for all, who believe in God or the Universe or a Power greater than us, whatever your faith...This Book will touch Your SOUL and Change your Life!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gift from God, April 9 2009
This review is from: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (Paperback)
This book came to me at just the right time. Whether you're currently going through a tough trial, or simply struggling with the everyday grind of life, Henri Nouwen carefully guides you through a road towards reclaiming your true Beloved nature. His life of wisdom written in these pages has helped me lift myself out of the depths of my own trials.

Don't be fooled by its size (it's only 160 pages long). This little book packs a lot of wisdom! Nouwen writes with such honesty and candor, that it speaks directly to your heart. My only criticism is its lack of scriptural support, but it could be because he was writing for a secular audience. This was my first book by Nouwen, and I'm sure it won't be the last one!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be Mind Altering, Dec 30 2001
By 
Bethany McKinney (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Life of the Beloved is among the final books published by Nouwen, and in that way is kind of a culmination of much of his life and thought and is thought by many to be his "flagship" work. Truly, it doesn't get much better than this. Reading this book as a Christian can be a mind and, hence, life altering experience. It was written to some of Henri's non-Christian friends about how much God loves them (which is certainly true!). And from the way Henri's life consistently pointed towards Jesus and the Gospel, I am sure that his friendship, love, and words to them in conversation were used by God for the good of the hearers. On that note, I would caution using this book alone as something to give to your non-Christian friends; because as Henri used it, it is best backed up by your life, love for your friends, and pointing them towards Jesus in your day to day life, and not as a gift without a relationship.
The book is clear, and ultra-concise (you could probably read it in a day or two); yet, the message, of how to live as the Beloved of God amidst a world where there are lies about your identity at every turn, could not be more fundamental to how a Christian lives their life. I wholeheartedly recommend and in fact strongly encourage all Christians to read this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, March 15 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me but I was disappointed with it.
The content seemed more philisophical than practical......just not my style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, March 15 2013
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This review is from: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (Paperback)
Excellently written. It focuses on spirituality in relation to everyday living. I loved it and intend to read more books by Henri Nouwen.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great old book for a great new beginning, April 24 2003
I was recommended this book by my campus chaplain, Rev. King, whom I now look to for spiritual support, and he felt that this book would help me on my journey. I am glad that I read it. It was inspiring to me because I sometimes have the same feelings that Fred does as a woman living in a secularized world. But, after reading about what joy there can be to know that you are a blessed child of God, Nouwen stresses that by realizing that He has chosen you as a person with a gift (or more in some cases, like mine), your worries about your life's direction will start to become smaller and smaller. The good thing about this book is that you'll want to read it more than once because you'll want to learn more about your life through God's blessing. If you have the money, INVEST IN THIS BOOK. In fact, buy copies for your loved ones, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sailboats, Sept. 7 2000
I enjoy this book very much. It is ironic that it was a failure. It did not serve to improve the lives of Henri Nouwen's (1932-1996) secular friends as he intended. Mr Nouwen, to his credit, acknowledges this when he writes, "My attempt had been to be a witness of God's to a secular world, but I had sounded like someone who is so excited about the art of sailing that he forgets that his listeners have never seen lakes or the sea, not to mention sailboats" As much as I am disappointed to see one of my favourite books receive a 1-star rating, I must admit that "jwagner4" is correct. This book does not state the message of the Christian Bible, and it does tend toward an ecumenical spirituality. Based on these two reports, I would suggest that if you are searching for a spiritual connection from a secular viewpoint, or if you are looking for a literal message from the Gospel, you might be disappointed by this book. On the other hand, I found spiritual serenity in reading this book. Reading that I was cherished by the LORD was affirming. It is something I would like to read more often, and read far too seldom. Not all Christians have been disappointed by this book. In 1947, a movement of the Spirit produced the founding of the Church of the Saviour in Washington, D. C., (USA), Pastored by Gordon Cosby, this church demonstrated a radical faith witness to the rest of the world. Under the direction of Pastor Cosby, the Church of the Saviour became a vital force for uplifting the neighbourhoods in which it dwelt. These were low-income neighbourhoods filled with people who were quite practical about what it takes to live. Not the type of people who are usually taken in by pie-in-the-sky theology. Elizabeth O'Connor was one of the church's early members and would later join the church staff. Her writings ("Letters to Sacttered Pilgrims) would chronicle their story, letting the rest of the world know of the amazing work GOD was doing in their midst. Ms O'Connor and Pastor Cosby were impressed enough with Nouwen's book to ask him if they might use it for spiritual teaching in their schools. This is what Ms O'Connor wrote about this book, "An instructive and gentle book. Henri Nouwen does more than tell us that solitude and community are essential for the spiritual life. His words impart a spirit that will better enable his readers to provide themselves with these seemingly contradictory necessities." This book may not be for everyone. Even so, if you are interested in developing a meaningful spiritual relationship, it might be for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, March 29 2003
By 
G. Metcalf (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (Paperback)
this was his best. a wonderful message everyone should hear and take to heart.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book can change your life..., Feb. 2 2003
By A Customer
Father Nouwen speaks straight from the heart and directly to yours! This little book can change your life. If only we could actually believe and live the LIFE OF THE BELOVED!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Nouwen's Best, Aug. 8 2002
I have read several of Nouwen's books and this is one of my favorites. He writes from a totally different perspective in an effort to speak to the community of one of his closest friends (of a different faith). Nouwen explores the concept that we are all called as being beloved and that we all feel that deep within.
I was very impressed that in the epilogue Nouwen humbly acknowledges his own shortcomings in the book's ability to speak to those outside his own faith. While Nouwen may not have succeeded (in his mind) with the book's original intent - as a non-catholic this book spoke deeply to me in regard to our being called.
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Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Paperback - Oct. 1 2002)
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