This item is 4 page an article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Spirituality and the Family’ published in Weavings, Vol.III, No.1, January/February, 1988, pp. 7 – 10. Nouwen begins by suggesting that the ‘vocation of the Christian [is] a vocation to solitude and intimacy’. Nouwen goes on to suggest that this vocation ‘finds a very powerful and unique expression in the family’. In the first section entitled ‘The Vocation of Solitude’ Nouwen writes that it is in solitude ‘that we discover the inner space where our creativity finds its roots and from which our real vitality springs’. Nouwen suggests that rather valuing ourselves or others by what we do, it is in solitude that we will, through the Holy Spirit, find our true selves and be able therefore, to value others. ‘Therefore, the first gift of family members to each other is the gift of solitude in which they can discover their real selves’. ‘ When there is no solitude in a family, when there are no private times and private places, then family life becomes such a filled up, busy, restless life that it can no longer be home, the place from which we move and to which we return’. In the second and final section entitled, ‘The Vocation of Intimacy’ Nouwen writes that the gift of solitude makes the gift of intimacy possible, an intimacy which is not possessive but nurturing. This applies, Nouwen suggests, both to the relationships between parents and children and also that between husband and wife.