You are the Beloved by Henri J.M. Nouwen
A collection of extracts from Nouwen’s work, arranged as a series of 366 daily meditations; ideal for those struggling with feeling loved
You are the Beloved - Daily Meditations for Spiritual Living
By Henri J.M. Nouwen
Hodder and Stoughton
Reviewed by: Rosa Hunt
Readers familiar with Nouwen’s writings may well have read much of this book before in various guises, as this is a collection of extracts from Nouwen’s work, arranged as a series of 366 daily meditations. The extracts have been chosen to develop and reinforce the theme that each one of us is God’s beloved child.
Nouwen believed that the central moment in Jesus’ public ministry was His baptism in the Jordan, when He heard the affirmation: “You are my beloved son, on whom my favour rests.” Nouwen understood all of Jesus’ life and actions as a continual claiming and affirmation of that central identity as the beloved son.
Moreover, Nouwen believed that every human being is called to claim the same identity of beloved child of God, through our participation in Christ. Nouwen repeatedly taught that so many of our fears flow out of a desire to be loved which remains unfulfilled, because we search for its fulfilment in the wrong places. Instead, Nouwen invites the reader to accept, affirm and live into their identity as God’s beloved child, which is the only way that our deepest desire to be accepted and loved can find its true fulfilment.
Each of the 366 daily readings explores one aspect or another of the identity which God offers us as His beloved. They look at the consequences of rejecting that identity, and the benefits which could flow from an ever deeper acceptance of it. Each reading is short, sometimes only a couple of sentences, and never longer than a page. As a confirmed Nouwen fan, I expected to enjoy this book, and it did not disappoint, even though some of it was already very familiar. I found it ideal to read last thing at night, to give me a sense of peace after a busy day, and would recommend it for use in this way.
I also lent it out to a member of my congregation who was struggling with feeling loved, and she immediately bought her own copy!
Rosa is a Baptist minister serving a bilingual chapel in Tonteg, near Pontypridd, and is an associate tutor at South Wales Baptist College