4 Mat Review: Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling

1208 WordsOct 16, 20145 Pages
The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life Abstract This book written by Henri Nouwen and first published in 1975 by Doubleday, separates our journey in Christian life into three sections: reaching out to our innermost self, reaching out to our fellow human beings, and reaching out to our God. In reaching out to our innermost self, we go from loneliness to peace. Human suffering is the result of loneliness (Nouwen, 1997). When you are lonely, you are not close to God. This is when you are striving for the relationship that you do not have. Once you learn how to listen for God in your heart, you can get to peace. Peace causes us to draw nearer to people and God. When we are able to have a calm and peaceful spirit, we are able to open up to other people in our lives. All people are striving for peace in their lives, but unless you are willing to let go of the business of day to day life it will not be achieved. Sometimes we have to reach poverty of heart and mind or come to an end of ourselves. In reaching out to our fellow human beings, we go from hostility to hospitality. We are hostile to other people when we refuse to give them open space to talk and get to know us. We try to keep the distance between us large enough that we do not have to open up to anyone for any reason. We put up shields and are in self protective mode. This will then make us lonely and we start looking for ways to remedy the loneliness. The self protective mode sends us further down the road of loneliness. When we decide to show hospitality to others, then we allow them into our life. A good host takes care of others and lets them go when it is time for them to go (Nouwen, 1997). Examples of this are doctors and patients, grandparents and grandchildren, drill sergeants and trainees, teachers and students, and parents and children. In reaching out to God, we go from illusion into prayer. When
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