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McLuhan, Marshall. "Love." Saturday Night, vol. 82, no. 2, 1967, pp. 25-28.

Maurice LeBlond and Denise LeBlond-Zola, letters to Léon Deffoux

  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 4 janvier 30», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général» - with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», stamped «Paris 4 janv 30». Received the brochure about Lourdes; thanks Deffoux. Is not too worried about subscriptions for the banquet. Asks Deffoux if he knows the restaurant Le Rocher de Cancale. The committee must be thanked; he will try to see Deffoux on Monday about this.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 7 février 30», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général» - with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général» - no stamps – note on the upper right hand corner: «P.O. attendre réponse». The letter reads: "Can you please give to the person handing you this letter the documents you mentioned during your telephone call – thank you."
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 10 février 30», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général» - with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», stamped «Paris [?] fév. 30». Is returning 3 documents – has found three texts by Maupassant. Suggests publishing excerpts (40 to 50 lines) from publications about Huysmans.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 21 mars 30», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général» - with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», stamped «Paris, 21 III 1930». Asks Deffoux to announce in one of his columns that Fasquelle will publish, at the end of March, a limited edition of Zola’s short story L’inondation. Profits will go to the victims of the floodings in Southern France (March 1930).
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 12 avril 1930», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général» - with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», stamped «Paris, 12 IV 1930». Thanks Deffoux for his articles in L’Oeuvre and L’Intransigeant.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 6 mai 1930», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Sends a document about Maupassant, that Montfort has returned to him. Asks Deffoux to thank Zavie for the photograph of his wife and Hennique, published in L’Intransigeant.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris 18 mai 30» - with envelope stamped «Paris 19 V 1930». Has just heard, from his brother-in-law Jacques Zola, about Deffoux’s brother and his accident. Shares Deffoux worries.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, 25 mai 30». Has just found the «faire-part» sent by Deffoux [regarding his brother?] – reiterates his «deep and true affection»
  • Autograph postcard [view of MontLouis] from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, stamped «7 – 7 30». Will attend a writers’ lunch in Niort [with writers from the Poitou, among which Jean-Richard Bloch]. Will see Deffoux upon his return in Paris.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 25 juillet 30», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Has written to Fasquelle. If Deffoux sees Fasquelle, he can ask, in addition of the letters from Goncourt, Maupassant, etc. on L’Assommoir, if there are any other letters from the Parnassiens (Banville, Mendès…).
  • Autograph postcard [view of Kertugal] from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux – stamp unreadable; date pencilled: «août 1930». Is enjoying his holiday; hopes Deffoux will have good weather in September, for his own holiday.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 9 octobre 30», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Congratulates Deffoux on his book on L’Assommoir; praises the quality of the work. His wife and himself are very touched that the book was dedicated to them. Hopes to be able to see Deffoux very soon, to thank him in person.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, n.d., on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Sends a list of names [not included] – friends to whom he would like to offer a copy of Deffoux’s book on L’Assommoir. [He also seems to be sending copies of the book to Deffoux, asking him to sign them].
  • Autograph postcard [view of Béziers] from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «14 octobre 30». Excellent weather in Languedoc – sends his «amitiés»
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 31 décembre 30», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Sends excerpts of his wife’s book on Zola and Cézanne, if that could be of interest to Deffoux. NOTES ON THE LETTER: «Cher vieil ami Léon, puisque tu le connais si bien, veux-tu le faire?» «Tu le feras bien mieux que moi. Et bonne année, pas?», with initals that may be [E.Z.]
  • Autograph card from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 3 septembre» [probably 1924 or 1925], on letterhead of «Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Direction». Sends a bit of «literary information», which he is recommending to Deffoux.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 15 janvier 31», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général» - with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», stamped «Paris 15 janv 31». Sends the information Deffoux required – lists the four illustrations featured in his wife’s book (portraits of Zola). Is still thinking about the book on naturalism that Deffoux and himself should write. Is still trying to locate an article on L’Assommoir written by Vallès. Attended a “clandestine presentation” of a movie on Dreyfus. Would L’Oeuvre be interested?
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «20 janvier 31». Announces that his wife will write to Deffoux very soon. As for him, he wants to thank Deffoux for all the articles he is publishing on Denise LeBlond’s book. Will send a clean copy of the Huysmans letters. Sends his very best wishes to Deffoux.
  • Autograph letter from Denise LeBlond-Zola to Léon Deffoux, dated «20-1-31» - with envelope stamped «Paris 20 – I 1931». Thanks Deffoux for his friendship and for his article in L’Oeuvre, about her book. She will frame the characters of L’Assommoir [?].
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 28 janvier 31», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», stamped «28 I 31» - note on the envelope: «Pneumatique». Confirms that he has lodged his complaint with the «procureur de la République», regarding the «petite affaire» he discussed with Deffoux.
  • Carte de visite «Mr & Mme Maurice Le Blond», with hand written note, with envelope addressed to Léon Deffoux, stamped «Paris 2 II 1931». «Mr & Mme Maurice Le Blond resteront chez eux, le dimanche 15 février, de 5 à 8 heures, pour recevoir leurs amis.»
  • Autograph letter from Denise LeBlond-Zola to Léon Deffoux, dated «3-2-31», with envelope stamped «Paris 3 II 31». Thanks Deffoux profusely for praising her book.
  • Press clipping – hand-written note: «Journal 12 2 1931», «Emile Zola raconté par sa fille», par Lucien Descaves.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «5 février 31». Is returning the proofs sent by Deffoux. As he told Deffoux on the telephone, he finds the text appalling. Thinks that «ce pauvre garçon» will look like a fool. Is sending copies of four letters by Huysmans.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 6 février 31», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Is sending another the text of another letter from Huysmans.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 16 février 31», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Hennique would have liked to see Deffoux the night before [see Carte de visite, 2 II 31], to give him a document – LeBlond is sending the document to Deffoux.
  • Press clipping – hand-written note: «France judiciaire 15 février 1931», «L’Affaire Dreyfus au théâtre. Les impressions de Me Joseph Hild qui fut le collaborateur et l’ami de Labori»
  • Press clipping – hand-written note: «Pt Marseillais 18/2 1931», «Emile Zola par Denise LeBlond-Zola, par Marcel Gras»
  • Autograph letter from Denise LeBlond-Zola to Léon Deffoux, dated «24-2-31», with envelope stamped «Paris 24 II 1931» - with short press clipping. Wishes to recommend to Deffoux the book of her friend, the Hungarian writer Sandor Kémeri [Mme Boloni – book on Bourdelle]. Was wondering if Deffoux could talk about it in L’Oeuvre. Thanks Deffoux for his note in L’Intransigeant.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 17[27?] février», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Is returning the article on Hild. He has not seen his sister-in-law in a while. Will ask her about the family of Maurice Roux. Mentions the portrait of Bourdelle lent by Madame Boloni.
  • Press clipping, no source, no date - «Emile Zola pendant la guerre de 1870 par Armand Charpentier» - about Denise LeBlond-Zola’s book.
  • Autograph postcard [view of Nice] from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, stamped «Nice 21 IV 1931». Read Deffoux’s piece in Le Mercure. Will try to help to solve the mystery of «28 rue Royale, à Saint-Cloud».
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 13 mai 1931», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», with envelope on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général», stamped «Paris 13 MAI». Send the information requested by Deffoux, about Zola’s cousin and the Italian branch of the family. Joins a hand-drawn genealogical tree of Zola’s family.
  • Document: genealogical tree of Zola’s family, established by Maurice LeBlond.
  • Autograph postcard [view of Royan] from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Royan, 16 août 1931». Has received Deffoux’s letters – is disappointed for Hennique [?]. Does not know d’Armaingaud [?].
  • Autograph postcard [view of the Barrage Zola] from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, date illegible, 1931. Is in Aix for three days. Will meet the mayor.
  • Autograph letter from M. LeBlond to Léon Deffoux, dated «Paris, le 3 novembre 31», on letterhead of «Ministère de l’Intérieur. Journaux officiels, 31, Quai Voltaire. Le Secrétaire général». Zola’s correspondence is now in the Bibliothèque nationale. Is sending a «communiqué», for Deffoux to insert in the «feuille Havas». Deffoux should stress that the correspondence will be available for public consultation. Flaubert’s papers, on the contrary, are kept under key.
  • short paper-bound publication by Maurice LeBlond, "Les Projets litteraires d'Emile Zola au moment de sa mort," Paris, 1927, 27 pp.

Dossier Gustave Toudouze, secondary sources

  • Georges G. Toudouze, «La colonie artistique de Camaret», Les Cahiers de l’Iroise, 1955.
  • James Sanders, «Une lettre inédite de Gustave Toudouze à Georges Ancey, relative au “Bateau des sorcières”», Les cahiers de l’Iroise, 1994.
  • James Sanders, «Camaret, hâvre de pêcheurs et d’artistes», La Revue de l’Université Laval, octobre 1963.
  • André Dupuis, Une famille d’artistes. Les Toudouze-Colin-Leloir, 1690-1957, Paris, 1957.
  • Typed document (1 page): summary of an interview with Georges G. Toudouze.
  • Typed document (5 pages): draft of an article on Gustave Toudouze (by Sanders).
  • Photocopies of an article: Dr. M.-A. Levy-Alcover, «Le foyer artistique de Camaret: à propos de deux artistes dramatiques», in Nautisme, arts, culture, été 1990.

Henri Nouwen fonds

  • CA ON00389 F4
  • Fonds
  • 1910 - 1997, 1964 - 1996 predominant

Fonds consists of 15 series:

  1. Manuscripts
  2. General files
  3. Calendar files
  4. Personal records
  5. Publisher files
  6. Financial files
  7. Teaching materials
  8. Nouwen’s education records and study notes
  9. Published works
  10. Video recordings of Nouwen
  11. Sound recordings
  12. Collected materials
  13. L'Arche Daybreak administrative files
  14. Ephemera and artifacts
  15. Photographs

Nouwen, Henri J.M.

Published works

Series consists of published works written and collected by Nouwen during his lifetime. Although there are some of his earliest writings dating from 1956, the series is predominantly dating from 1970 to 1996.

The series has been arranged in the following ten sub-series taking into account the author(s), subject(s), and format of the records:

1.9.1. Articles by Nouwen
1.9.2. Articles co-authored by Nouwen
1.9.3. Interviews of and articles about Nouwen
1.9.4. Book reviews
1.9.5. Scrapbook 1956-1965
1.9.6. Scrapbook 1965-1982
1.9.7. Books by Nouwen
1.9.8. Books contributed to by Nouwen
1.9.9. Books about Nouwen
1.9.10. Guides

A more detailed description of each sub-series, as well as each subseries arrangement can be found in the sub-series descriptions.

A psychologist on priests' identity crises

Item consists of a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: "A psychologist on priests' identity crises" published in The National Catholic Reporter, 17 May 1967, p. 6. The article is about three perceived threats to the mental health of priests. These are described in terms of problems with time, with space and with self-understanding. 1) The new priest starts by giving his whole time to his ministry with little or no demarcation between work and rest. He thrives on being at the center, being available to everyone all the time. In time , because there is little change in fact, this can and does frequently lead to being ‘ an irritated, empty, routine, tired man’. In addition, at a daily level there is no demarcation of time between ‘work’ and ‘home’. No time to stop and reflect or even pray. 2) ‘Besides a healthy use of time, a healthy use of place is of great importance for the mental health of the priest’. Because he is always at work there is no space to find rest; because the people he lives with are the people he works with, there is no personal space. The demarcation lines of authority are vague and unhealthy. ‘…healthy spacing not only refers to healthy defining of places and rooms, but also connected with that, to healthy clarification of responsibilities and authority which belong to the different roofs under which we live’. 3) With a lack of privacy and no demarcation of personal, private relationships the priest often lacks a firm self-identity. ‘Without a spiritual life and a good friend he is like a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal’. In addition, there is a lack of clarity of his role as a professional, he receives little praise from anyone including superiors so he does not know how well he is doing. The author stresses the importance of the priest’s everyday confrontation with living theology in the people he serves and that is not used or appreciated.

A critical analysis

This item consists of a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘A Critical Analysis’ published in Ave Maria National Catholic Weekly, 3 June 1967, p. 11-13, 30. Nouwen discusses the rise and popularity of the Pentecostal movement at Notre Dame University in Indiana and states that the article ‘is an attempt to clarify certain issues and to be of some help in an honest evaluation’. Nouwen looks at the phenomenon from three perspectives: 1) A Historical Perspective: He writes of the past and current religious atmosphere at Notre Dame. Here he credits an article by Killian McDonnell. O.S.B. (The Ecumenical Significance of the Pentecostal Movement) where there is a discussion of the ‘sobriety’ and ‘objectivity’ of Roman Catholic liturgy in contrast to the more emotional freedom and sense of belonging in the Pentecostal services. Nouwen suggests that this latter may answer a need in the new more ambitious and competitive atmosphere at the university. 2) A Psychological Perspective. Here Nouwen asks how we can evaluate this new movement by asking several questions: Does it heal or hurt? He suggests that evidence leads to a conclusion that while there may be a short term benefit ‘it is very doubtful that it will cure deep mental suffering’. He also asks ‘Can it be dangerous’? He states that ‘for those who are not prepared every inducement of a strong emotion can break and do serious harm. He also suggests that for those who do not receive the ‘gifts’ such as tongues or joy there then may be the question ‘what is wrong with me’. This leads to the need for direction, guidance and care. Finally he asks: Does it create community? Nouwen suggests that the powerful emotions of belonging and sharing, may risk creating a community that is inward and elitist. ‘the Pentecostal movement creates a situation of oneness and togetherness, which makes the community highly self-centered and hinders the development of the autonomous Christian…’. 3) A Theological Perspective: here Nouwen is asking if the Pentecostal movement is reflecting the theological developments of Vatican II and suggests that it may not meet the new stress on incarnational theology. He concludes the article by stating: ‘the new wave of Pentecostalism at Notre Dame University obviously answers a burning need in many students. It worries many who are concerned about the effects on the mental health of some…It places heavy responsibility on the leaders of the movement, and it disturbs many theologians’ but it also offers a chance to come to a new realization of the crucial importance of the valid religious experience – as an authentic part of the Christian life’.

From magic to faith: religious growth in psychological perspective

This item consists of a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: From Magic to Faith: religious growth in psychological perspective, published in National Catholic Reporter, 27 September, 1967, p. 7. In this article Nouwen examines the growth or not, of religious maturity beginning with the new baby and ending with the adult man (sic). A. In the section covering the first five years the author identifies several stages: becoming aware that we are not the center of our world and that there are objective realities outside us that we cannot control; the formation of language in which we discover that our first words ‘give us a mysterious power over things which can in later life be part of our use of religious prayer in a magical and not mature way; a ‘third step out of the magical world is the formation of our conscience. This is formed in our contact with others and here the author relates some questions from Freud about our identification of God with our father. B. In the section covering school years 6 – 12 Nouwen identifies this time as one in which the child is exposed to a larger world, new and different values and new interests. The mature religion resulting from this he suggests will be ‘integral in nature…flexible enough to integrate all new knowledge within its frame of reference. …essential for a mature religion is the constant willingness to shift gears’. C. Here are discussed the adolescent years. These the author describes as a time of a more complicated inner and outer world with many conflicts; a time of facing and accepting or not, the shadow part of each person and the effect on the maturity of religious growth. D. This is the stage of the young adult. This is the time of leaving the family atmosphere and going away to study. ‘As we enter college we take with us many religious concepts and ideas which seemed obvious, and which we never questioned. The question is, whether or not we have the courage to put question marks behind many things; if we can allow ourselves to doubt without losing all ground.’ E. In this final section Nouwen discusses the adult man (sic). ‘One facet of adulthood which has special significance for our religious attitude is that the mature adult mind is characterized by a unifying philosophy of life’. Without this unifying philosophy Nouwen suggests that boredom may characterize life. He describes boredom as ‘the isolation of experience’…’every day seems to be just another day, indifferent, colorless and bleak’. Mature religion’s unifying power fulfills here a creative function. Nouwen states finally, ‘We started folded in our mother’s womb, one with the world in which we lived. We slowly unfolded out of the magical unity into autonomous existence in which we discovered that we were not alone but stood in a constant dialogue with our surroundings.

Homosexuality: prejudice or mental illness?

This item consists of a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: Homosexuality: Prejudice or Mental Illness? published in The National Catholic Reporter, 29 November, 1967, p. 8. The author is examining two ways of viewing the reality of male homosexuality in his time without, he says, wishing to decide ‘who is right and who is wrong’. The first section discusses homosexuality as a problem of prejudice with three areas emphasized: A) Homosexuality and projection. Prejudice arises, Nouwen suggests, out of our fear of our own sexual uncertainty and ‘feelings which we don’t wish to acknowledge’. B) Homosexuality and the self-fulfilling prophecy. ‘This theory of the self-fulfilling prophecy suggests, just like the theory of projection, that the major problem is one of prejudice. It is our false definition of what a homosexual is which causes the exact behavior which we despise.’ C) Homosexuality in the bible and medieval Christianity. Nouwen outlines several biblical passages which are often used to ‘try to prove that homosexuality is especially sinful, deserving of punishment or suffering...’ He concludes this section by suggesting that these passages are usually misinterpreted. The second section of this article discusses homosexuality as a mental disorder. Nouwen asks here, ‘to what degree do we have to consider homosexuality as a mental disorder with deeper roots than the feelings or ideas of the surrounding culture?’ He then goes on to discuss two standpoints: 1) The psychoanalytic approach and 2) The phenomenological approach. In 1) he quotes from a letter of Sigmund Freud to a concerned mother to show Freud’s kindness and sympathy and also discusses a study done by I. Bieber in 1962. In his discussion of 2) the phenomenological approach he uses material extensively from a study by Hans Giese in 1958 about the homosexual man. Two sub-sections here are: 1.How does the homosexual experience his own body? And 2) How does the homosexual experience himself in the world? This material is followed by a section entitled: Homosexuality and Pastoral Care in which he states: ‘We believe that in our pastoral relationship with our fellow man we can try to understand the deep suffering of the homosexual in the light of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ, and make him free for unconditional hope’. The final section of this article is entitled Practical Considerations. These are, Nouwen suggests, his own rather than scientific conclusions. He states here that, ‘Our general attitude toward homosexuality should be free from anxiety and fear, not to speak of disgust and rejection. By a relaxed and understanding relationship to our homosexual fellow man, we might help him more than by an overly-moralistic concern which requires change as a condition for friendship’.

Report on the possibility and desirability of love

This item consists of a two page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: On the possibility and desirability of love, published in The National Catholic Reporter, April 10. 1968, pp. 7-8. Nouwen begins his article by asking if love is possible at all. ‘Is there a spark of misunderstanding in every intimate encounter, a painful experience of separateness in every attempt to unite, a fearful resistance in every act of surrender?’ He then states that he intends to describe what he calls two main forms of existing: 1) a power or ‘taking’ form and 2) a forgiving form. He then finally intends to ask the crucial questions, ‘Is love a utopian dream or a possibility within our reach?’ There are three major headings in the article: 1) The taking form, 2) The forgiving form and 3)The possibility of love. In 1) Nouwen describes the taking form as a form of power. We objectify the other, we try to control, to manipulate vulnerabilities and weaknesses and classify and label others. ‘This leaves us with the suspicion that the reality which we call “love” is nothing other than a blanket to cover the real fact that a man and a woman conquer each other in a long, subtle skirmish of taking movements in which one is always the winner who manipulates the other… we find ourselves doomed to the impossibility of love’. In 2) Nouwen describes the forgiving form as one of trust, openness and vulnerability. He suggests some characteristics of love. Love is truthful, tender and asks for total disarmament. He asks: ‘Can we ever meet a fellow man without any protection? Reveal ourselves to him in our total vulnerability? In 3) The possibility of love, Nouwen attempts to answer these questions. He begins by noting that life is often a very painful fluctuation between the two desires to take and to forgive. ‘And we have good reasons to be afraid. Love means openness, vulnerability and confession.’ Again, Nouwen asks if real love is possible and answers by saying that it is not if ‘the only real and final solution to life is death’. He then points to the person who he suggests has broken through the vicious circle and quotes from the prologue to the Gospel of John which speaks of Jesus breakthrough. ‘Suddenly everything is converted into its opposite. Darkness into light, enslavement into freedom, death into life, taking into giving, destruction into creation and hatred into love’. He concludes by stating that ‘the core of the Christian message is exactly this message of the possibility of transcending the taking form of our human existence.

Anton T. Boisen and theology through living human documents

This item consists of a 15 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: Anton T. Boisen and Theology through living human documents, published in Pastoral Psychology, Volume 19, No. 186, September 1968, p. 49 – 63. This issue of Pastoral Psychology is an Anton T. Boisen Memorial Issue and consists of 9 articles of which Henri Nouwen’s is the last. In this article Nouwen looks at Boisen’s important development of the use of the case study in the clinical training of theological students. Because this development of the case study arose out of Boisen’s confrontation with his own psychotic breakdown in 1920, Nouwen focuses much of this article on the life of Boisen, the relationships that formed his direction from his study of languages, forestry and finally, the ministry. Nouwen states: "In a way, we can say that Boisen’s own psychosis became the center of his identity…there he found his true vocation: the ministry to the mentally ill. There he found the main concepts of his most important publication, The Exploration of the Inner World and there he found the basis of his idea for the clinical training of theological students." The article has a number of headings: The Man, The Central Experience (his psychotic breakdown), The input (here Nouwen discusses some of the people who deeply influenced Boisen), The Outcome (here is discussed his development of the case method, Growth through Conflicts (the growth of the case method and evolutions which Boisen found difficult) and The Last Years (covers the years from Boisen’s retirement until his death in 1965 at the age of 89).

The new pastor

This item consists of a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: The New Pastor, published in the National Catholic Reporter, December 4, 1968, p. 6. This article was written shortly after the Second Vatican Council. In this article Nouwen is raising questions about the role of the pastor following the upheavals that are affecting the church. He states as the underlying concern, "Familiar channels through which we could function and reach thousands of men, women and children are leaking or completely broken down…we feel ourselves victims of a religious strip tease in which the critical modern man is insisting we remove one vestment of office after another…" In order to discuss what he feels can be the role of the priest in this new situation he uses two major headings: 1) How can the parish priest be an efficient and skillful pastor in our modern society? and 2) How can he remain a whole and integrated man in a rapidly changing world , which by its own nature is constantly challenging his own commitment? Under heading 1) Nouwen suggests that a pastor should be able to offer his parishioners three things a) a climate in which questions which challenge faith can be raised without fear b) a word given by the pastor to others which is uniquely tailored to the need of the individual: "a word directed to the highly individual needs of our suffering fellowman can create new life" and c) a home in a parish which provides "intimacy with a vital balance between closeness and distance" for the parishioner. Under heading 2) Nouwen provides three further headings a) Silence which is necessary for the priest to listen to God and his own deepest center b) Friendship. Here Nouwen suggests the need of the pastor to find friendship outside of the parish, most particularly in what he suggests should be a carefully formed group that lives together in the rectory and c) Insight. "By insight, we mean a sound perspective of the pastor on the significance of his own priesthood". Nouwen concludes the article by stating: "when a priest is well-prepared for his task and is in lasting communication with those he wants to serve, he can fulfill his task without fear. With a realistic confidence in his abilities, with a sense of inner harmony and most of all with trust in the value of his service, he can be a free witness for God, who can strengthen hope, fulfill love and make joy complete".

The death of Dr. King

This item consists of a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: The Death of Dr King, published in the National Catholic Reporter, December 18, 1968, p. 4. This article is a subjective reflection by Nouwen on the atmosphere, experience and people he encountered following the death of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968. Nouwen uses a number of headings : 1) The News – this begins in Chicago where he first hears of King’s assassination. He describes the muted responses of the people he meets, 'Martin Luther King was dead, killed, assassinated. Everybody knew it but nobody wanted to know it'. 2) The Party – Here Nouwen describes the atmosphere at a party following his talk and notes particularly that most people are avoiding speaking of Dr King’s death. 3) The Cool City – moves on to Topeka, Kansas where Nouwen reflects on the contrast between the ‘slickness and artificiality’ and ‘the madness’. ‘We were killing the prophets…Between the hollow voices of those who tried to advertise their latest product, it became clear that violence was cutting through the thresholds of restraint. Topeka seemed a cool and indifferent city’. 4) In Kansas City Nouwen visits a young man in prison for draft evasion. This young man speaks of the influence of Dr King on his life and the lives of his fellow prisoners and the atmosphere in the prison: ’when they heard that he was dead they doubled the guards. They did not understand that we were just crying, my Afro-American friends and me’. 5) The Cab Driver –this speaks of Nouwen’s decision to change his plans and travel to Atlanta for the funeral. He describes his encounter at the airport with a cab driver who is also going. The cab driver shares with Nouwen: ‘ Dr King just tried to take Christ’s words seriously. He realized he had to follow him all the way. What would happen if we really would do just that?’ The remainder of the article describes the atmosphere in Atlanta: ‘It was a special occasion in which happiness and joy merged with sadness and distress. Perhaps it had never been different for them.’ Nouwen concludes this article by reflecting on his hope despite all the ‘anger, grief and frustration’. ‘I knew that out of my exhaustion a new faith could grow, a faith that it is possible to love’.

Feature review

This item consists of a 3 page book review by Henri Nouwen and Joseph Wissink of A Search for God in Time and Memory by John S. Dunne C.S.C., Macmillan Publishing. The authors begin the review by stating that ‘John Dunne has written a great book. Certainly not an easy book but a personal, unique and insightful study worth entering as deeply as possible.’ Nouwen and Wissink indicate that the subject of the book is ‘ how is God relevant to modern man in his search for meaning?’ ‘The autobiographies of men like Augustine, Luther, Pascal, Newman, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus and Jung serve as the main data for the quest...’. Nouwen and Wissink describe the book as: having a unique clinical and empirical touch; as having a high degree of insight…’which does not lead to a proud “now I know” … but to a compassionate understanding that the night can pass into day and to some inkling of the turning point which lies ahead’. They go on to describe Dunne’s method suggesting that ‘A better title might be “From Time Out of Mind to Time Within Mind” because the whole book is based on the process of bringing to one’s mind the time that is absent from the mind’. The reviewers then go on to describe what this means : ‘Here we are meeting the great time history books are written about. We all live in it, but it is not the exclusive property of anybody, unless maybe of God, or death…what is the place of my life in this great time, in the death time or, hopefully, God’s time?’. Nouwen and Wissink end the review by stating, ‘Again, this is a great book. It offers more than a new idea, a new concept or a new insight. It offers a new perspective on life for modern man’.

Generation without fathers: Christian leadership of tomorrow

This item consists of an 8 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, Generation without Fathers: Christian Leadership of Tomorrow, published in Commonweal, June 12, 1970, pp 287 – 294. The article begins with an old Jewish story in which a young fugitive hiding in a village is handed over to soldiers by the Rabbi in order to save the people. The Rabbi is then informed that he should have met the young man and then he would have known he was handing over the Messiah. Nouwen then goes on to say as introduction, ‘We are challenged to look into the eyes of the young man and woman of today running away from our cruel ways. Perhaps just that will be enough to prevent us from handing him over to the enemy and enable us to lead him out of his hidden place into the middle of his people to redeem them from their fears.’ Nouwen then discusses what he sees are certain behavioral trends in the lives of those who are ‘in the process of becoming’. Throughout the article Nouwen quotes both from a book by David Riesman entitled The Lonely Crowd and a paper by Jeffery K. Hadden in Psychology Today, October 1969. Nouwen heads the first section of this article The Man of Tomorrow. He describes these people as the children of the lonely crowd who exhibit three characteristics: Inwardness, Fatherlessness and Convulsiveness. Nouwen uses a definition of the inward generation from the work of Hadden: ‘It is the generation which gives absolute priority to the personal and which tends in a remarkable way to withdraw into self’. In the subsection entitled Parents but no Fathers Nouwen states,‘ We are facing a generation which has parents but no fathers, a generation in which everyone who claims authority …is suspect from the very beginning’. In this generation the authority figures are ones peer group with all the tyranny that can involve. Convulsiveness is described as ‘A fundamental unhappiness with their world, a strong desire to work for change, but a deep doubt that they will do better than their parents and a nearly complete lack of any kind of vision or perspective’. In the section of this article entitled Tomorrow’s Leader, Nouwen outlines the characteristics of the Christian leader needed for today’s youth. There are three characteristics suggested: 1. The leader as the articulator of the inner events, 2) The leader as a man of compassion and 3) The leader as a contemplative critic. Each of these sections is discussed fully and summarized at the end. Nouwen states,’ The Christian leader who not only is able to articulate the movements of the Spirit but also is able to contemplate his world with a compassionate but critical eye may expect that the convulsive generation will not choose death as the ultimate desperate form of protest, but instead the new life of which he has made visible the first hopeful sign.

Education to the ministry

This item is a 9 page copy of a paper given by Henri Nouwen entitled : Education to the Ministry included in Integrating the Disciplines in Theological Education; Report of the Twelfth Biennial Meeting of the Association of Professional Education for Ministry, June 15 – 18, 1972 Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, p. 8 – 16. Nouwen indicates at the beginning of his paper that his intention is to ‘present to you some ideas on ministry from the perspectives of hospitality in the hope that these can help us to see how the spiritual and professional life of the minister are related and what the implications of this relationship are for seminary formation’. Nouwen outlines his thoughts under three headings followed by his conclusion: 1) Ministry as Hospitality, 2) Ministry and Spirituality and 3) Education to the Ministry. In 1) Ministry as hospitality, Nouwen opens by saying that ‘the call to ministry is the call to be a host to the many strangers passing by.’ But he also points out that our attitudes toward strangers are ambivalent : sometimes hostile, sometimes hospitable and that the minister is to convert hostility into hospitality. It is ‘the opening of an opportunity to others to find their God and their way’. In 2) Ministry and Spirituality Nouwen asks how the minister can remain faithful to hospitality to the stranger. He suggests that ‘This will come to pass only when ministry is undergirded by spirituality,.. when the outer movement from hostility to hospitality is supported by an inner movement from property to poverty. Poverty means that my identity in the final analysis is not determined by what I can do, say or think, but by what God’s Spirit can do, say and think in me’. This then allows the pastor to be open and not defensive and free to listen. In section 3) Education to Ministry, Nouwen outlines three general principles: 1) The first and most important ministerial task of every educator is to help the student face his own condition and that of the world realistically and without fear. 2) The second principle in education to the ministry is to help the student become available to himself, that is to become at home in his own house. 3) The third principle to guide us in education for the ministry is the principle of compassion. This latter principle Nouwen suggests, is powerful in a world which is ‘on the edge of suicide’ as a ‘power for world peace in which the many barriers visible in prisons, hospitals, ghettos and war fields can slowly be taken away and in which this world can become again a hospitable place for man.’

Nuclear man: in search for liberation

This item is a 7 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: Nuclear Man: In search for Liberation, included in Reflection, Volume 70, No. 1, the quarterly journal of Yale Divinity School and the Berkeley Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut, 1972. Nouwen opens the article by describing nuclear man as someone who “does not look forward to the fulfillment of a great desire, nor does he expect that something great or important is going to happen. He looks into empty space and he is only sure that if there is anything worthwhile in life it must be here and now”. Nouwen then states that the purpose of his article is “1. to come to a deeper understanding of our human predicament and 2) to hope to discover in the midst of our present ferment new ways to liberation and freedom”. 1) In the first section Nouwen describes nuclear man as “one who realizes that his creative powers hold the potential for self-destruction and can be characterized by Robert Jay Lifton’s 3 categories of a)’ historical dislocation’ which include the realization that “symbols used by his parents cannot possibly have the unifying and integrating power which they have for people with a pre-nuclear mentality”. There is a lack of continuity with the past. In b) ‘Fragmented Ideology’, there is a condition of “fast-shifting value systems” and nuclear man finds that he “does not believe in anything that is always and everywhere true and valid”. In c) ‘A search for new Immortality’ Nouwen states, “ When man is not able anymore to look beyond his own death and to establish for himself means to relate to what extends beyond the time and space of his own life, he loses his desire to create and with that the excitement of being human”.2) In the second section entitled Nuclear Man’s way to Liberation Nouwen outlines “two main ways by which [nuclear man] tries to break out of his cocoon and fly: the mystical way and the revolutionary way”. a) “The mystical way is the inward way. Man tries to find in the center of his own inwardness, a connection with the ‘reality of the unseen’, with ‘the source of being’, with ‘the point of silence’. b) In The revolutionary Way Nouwen describes someone who “is tired of pruning the trees and clipping branches and wants to pull out the roots of a sick society”. Nouwen concludes this article by asking “Is there a third way, which we can call a Christian way?”. In this third way Nouwen describes Jesus as bringing together in himself both mystic and revolutionary and so “in this sense he remains also for nuclear man the way to liberation and freedom”.

Finding the friendly space

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Find the Friendly Space: Post Easter probing into the heart of worship’, published in ‘The Episcopalian” June 1973, P. 9 – 10 & 44. Nouwen opens the article by relating the story of the meeting of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus with the risen Jesus. Following the breaking of bread the two disciples recognize Jesus and return to Jerusalem with joy to tell the others. Nouwen states that this story is important because ‘it helps us realize that liturgy is hospitality’. He then goes on to say that ‘We need to look at our liturgical ministry as a way to create a friendly space’. After discussing what liturgy is not Nouwen states, ‘ liturgy is the indication of simple boundaries, a book, a table, a small piece of bread and a small cup of wine, within which the God of power and might can appear to us as…the God with us, the humble servant, the son of man. In the space created by these simple, basic human symbols, we can be touched by what is deeper that our own self-understanding and wider than our own life experience and can lift our hearts above the immediacy of our daily pains and sorrows.’ Nouwen then goes on to look at this in more detail. He concludes by drawing attention to several things: He states that ‘every liturgy must be highly flexible in terms of closeness and distance…that we especially today, should be open to a variety of liturgical celebrations’. All of this, he suggests requires ‘flexible and sensitive priests’. He reminds the reader that ‘Any celebration that does not move us outward is in constant danger of degenerating into a cozy, self-feeding, stuffy clique’.


This item is a 28 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘ Hospitality’ published in Monastic Studies, Number 10, by Mount Savior Monastery, Pine City, New York, Easter 1974. Nouwen has divided his article into 3 major divisions 1. From Hostility to Hospitality 2) Forms of Hospitality and 3) The Dynamics of Hospitality. Nouwen begins 1. By saying ‘it is God who reveals to us the movement of our lives. It is not a movement from weakness to power, but a movement in which we can become less and less fearful and defensive, and more and more open to the other and his world. This movement allowing us to receive instead of to conquer is the movement from hostility to hospitality’. Nouwen follows with some examples of difficulties arising from the presence of hostility which prevents hospitality. He then describes hospitality as meaning ‘primarily the creation of a space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. It is not an attempt to change people, but to offer the free space where change can take place.’ Nouwen discusses the difficulties in our society of creating this hospitable space and ends the section by saying ‘To convert hostility into hospitality, to change the stranger from hostis to hospes, from enemy to friend, asks for a persistent attempt to create the free space where such a conversion can take place. In section 2. Nouwen indicates his intention as ‘to show how different forms of service can be seen as hospitality. He identifies the forms of service as: teaching, preaching, counseling, organizing and liturgical celebration. In his conclusion to this section Nouwen says, ‘ …they are all forms of ministry by which we create space for the stranger, space where he can enter into deeper contact with himself, his fellowman and his God’. In a short third section 3.The Dynamics of Hospitality, Nouwen speaks of ‘receiving and confronting’ by which he means by the latter, setting boundaries. The second heading is entitled ‘participation in a certain plenitude’. Here, Nouwen states, ‘ The people who have had the most influence on me in my life…are men and women who never tried to convert me, change me, or make me do or not do certain things. …They were people who were so much in touch with themselves, were so self-possessed and eradiated so much inner freedom, that they became a point of orientation for my own search’.

The poverty of a host

This item consists of a 5 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘The Poverty of a Host’, published in Monastic Studies, No. 10, Easter 1974 by Mount Savior Monastery, Pine City, New York, p. 65 -69. Nouwen begins this article by stating,‘ Poverty makes a good host. This paradoxical statement needs some more explanation. In the context of hospitality I like to focus on two forms of poverty’. The two forms Nouwen describes as 1) Poverty of Mind and 2) Poverty of Heart. Nouwen focuses particularly on these two forms of poverty as they apply to ministry. With regard to poverty of mind Nouwen describes it by saying, ‘ Someone who is filled with ideas, concepts, opinions and convictions cannot be a good host. There is no inner space to listen, no openness to discover the gift of the other.’ With regard to poverty of heart Nouwen says, ‘ Even more important than poverty of mind is poverty of heart. When our hearts are filled with prejudices, worries, jealousies, there is little room for the stranger…Poverty of heart creates community…’ Nouwen concludes the article with the following ‘ Ministry, diakonia, service, care – they are all expressions for an attitude toward our neighbor in which we perceive life as a gift which we have received not to own but to share.’

A time for quiet, a time for action

This item is a half page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ A Time for Quiet, a Time for Action’ published in the National Catholic Reporter, April 26, 1974, p.11. This article begins with a quotation from Mark 1:32 -39, “In the morning long before dawn he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there”. Nouwen then points to all the action in Jesus’ life that surrounds these words and develops the idea of the importance to Jesus’ fulfillment of his ministry of these moments alone and at prayer. “ In the lonely place Jesus finds the courage to follow God’s will and not his own, to speak God’s words and not his own, to do God’s work and not his own”. He then states as the goal of this article, “I want to reflect on this lonely place in our own lives”. Nouwen suggests that we tend to know that we too need a lonely place and silence and that without it there is a danger that our lives will be governed only by what we ‘do’. He says, “practically all of us think about ourselves in terms of our contribution to life”. In the remainder of the article Nouwen suggests that our attempts to find our identity in the busyness of the world is leading many people to depression and anxiety. Nouwen emphasizes the importance then of silence and solitude in human life: “ Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures”.

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