Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup?

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Henri J. M. Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup? Ave Maria Press, 2006.

Referenced in: Pastoral Care Summary

This is an excellent call to pastoral identification with those who experience life’s deepest pains and thus value life’s simplest joys. The book is divided into three parts of holding, lifting, and drinking the cup, drawing on the metaphor of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Nouwen beckons ministers to drink life to its fullest, “to the dregs,” in sorrow and joy, mourning and celebration, suffering and salvation. The autobiographical style draws on Nouwen’s time with the mentally handicapped at L’arche Daybreak. There are many other helpful books by Nouwen in light of pastoral care:

Ministry and Spirituality, which combines three of his earlier works:

See also In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership (1993).

About the Author

Henri J. M. Nouwen has found a wide receptive audience to his books on modern spirituality. He was a teacher of pastoral theology at Notre Dame, the Yale Divinity School and at Harvard University. He was also a frequent visitor and ‘family brother’ at the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York. His many books include The Return of the Prodigal Son, Reaching Out, Clowning in Rome, With Open Hands, Making All Things New, Out of Solitude, and The Genesee Diary. He died in his native Netherlands in 1996.

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