Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1981. First edition. Octavo, original blue paper boards over cloth spine, original dust jacket. Very minor wear to bright, unclipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #943
"I NOW SEE THAT MY WORDS ARE NO MORE THAN THE WALLS THAT SURROUND A SILENT PLACE" First edition of Henri Nouwen's companion volume to the Genesee Diary—a journal of prayers reflecting his return to the Abbey of the Genesee. Blending aspects of psychology and practical theology with a special focus on pastoral care, the prolific Nouwen became "one of the most popular and influential spiritual writers of his time" (Robert Ellsberg). Nouwen's success led to an appointment at Harvard Divinity School but the feelings of distance only increased: "His lectures attracted enormous crowds. But this only underlined his abiding sense of loneliness and isolation." Seeking relief, Nouwen fled, once again, to the Abbey of the Genesee. "Though he quickly won a devoted following, Nouwen experienced a constant restlessness and anxiety about his place in the world...there was a depth within, it seemed, that God alone could fill" (Ellsberg). This successor to the Genesee Diary consists of six sections: Prologue, I. February-March: A fearful heart, II. March-April: A cry for mercy, III. April-May: Rays of hope, IV. May-June: The power of the Spirit, V. June-July: The needs of the world, VI. July-August: A grateful heart. Epilogue. Nouwen acknowledges a debt of gratitude to Joseph Núñez of Yale Divinity School who worked closely with Nouwen on this book. The book is illustrated by Earl Thollander with a frontispiece, title page, and six half title illustrations. Dedicated by Nouwen to his uncle—an influential Dutch priest who passed away in January 1981: "In Grateful Memory to Toon Ramselaar." Antonius Cornelis "Toon" Ramselaar was a priest of the Archdiocese of Utrecht and he evidently mentored his young nephew. Ramselaar "showed me the way to the priesthood and faithfully supported my work and vocation with his prayers until his death."