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The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

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This description may be from another edition of this product. The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming is a spiritual adventure story. A chance encounter with a poster depicting a detail of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son set in motion a...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Both Homecoming and being at Home

The Return of The Prodigal Son is one of those books with a special message that made me want to be a better person. If only it was that easy.Henri Nouwen used his experiences and feelings surrounding the Rembrandt painting "Return of the Prodigal Son" coupled with time as the father at a group home for the severely handicapped as a back drop for this book. But it is not a book that is about his time at the home, nor it is a book that really reflects that he is a catholic priest. It has a universal message and is based squarely on scripture revolving around the story of the prodigal as well as insights gained from Rembrandt's paintingThe pleasant yet challenging surprise of the book is how Nouwen takes the logical path from rebellious son through older brother and landing finally at the role of father and how the Father Himself calls us to become as He is. It is the first time I have read or heard a teaching that moves from the unrelenting love that the father has for the son in the story to the idea that God is calling us not just to accept His love as the younger son does once he realizes how lost he had become, but how God is calling us to become like Him and love the rebellious and lost as He does.I found it very interesting how Nouwen see parts of Rembrandt's work as being reflections of or symbols of something great and true. These insights made the book more interesting than just a simple bible lesson on an old and familiar story.Whether you find yourself in a foreign land or just outside the Fathers House, or whether you tend to feel a bit resentful that you're "following all the rules" and yet things just don't seem quite right this book has something important and powerful to say to you. If you are a leader in the church and want to be compelled to try a little harder and move a little closer to being the accepting and loving father that God calls you to be; this book has something for you.I enjoyed reading this and can highly recommend it.

A wonderful book; a simple but profound message

What an incredible book. What a simple message, deeply explored and wonderfully exposited. Henri Nouwen is a master of reflection, study, self-knowledge, and of writing beautiful, profound books. This book is amazing, perhaps life-changing. It has spoken to me in profound and deep ways, and I am deeply thankful for it. Nouwen's main message, I think, is the unconditional, unfailing, all-surpassing love of the Father, this love that meets all needs easily. He puts himself in the place of the younger son, the older son, and the father, and considers this love - and the things that keep us from fully experiencing it - in all of these places, places that ring universal. The media of realization here is the parable of course, but also Rembrandt's painting, Return of the Prodigal Son. It is profoundly helpful, fun, and provoking to consider this representation of the story and let it work spiritually in us, as it has in Father Henri. This book has more than opened my heart to the love of my Father, it has given me a new love for art, and a side education on Rembrandt and one of his most famous paintings. In short, this is another truly rare, truly wonderful book from a modern mystic. Nouwen will be remembered, I hope, alongside Augustine, Lewis, and others I have yet to discover but now believe exist. A sample:"Home is the center of my being where I can hear the voice that says: "You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests"-the same voice that gave life to the first Adam and spoke to Jesus, the second Adam; the same voice that speaks to all children of God and sets them free to live in the midst of a dark world while remaining in the light. I have heard that voice. It has spoken to me in the past and continues to speak to me now. It is the never-interrupted voice of love speaking from eternity and giving life and love whenever it is heard. When I hear that voice, I know that I am home with God and have nothing to fear. As the Beloved of my heavenly Father, "I can walk in the valley of darkness: no evil would I fear." As the Beloved, I can confront, console, admonish, and encourage without fear of rejection or need for affirmation. As the Beloved, I can be tortured and killed without ever having to doubt that the love that is given to me is stronger than death. As the Beloved, I am free to live and give life, free also to die while giving life."If you'd like to discuss this book with me, or recommend others, or just chat, e-mail me at williekrischke@hotmail.com. I'd love to talk with you.

Return of the Prodigal Son

Henri Nouwen has a way of making us look into the places that we would rather not look. When we are drawn into this study of the Rembrant painting we find a darkness that leads us to an illumination of our own lives. In this book it is with great joy that we discover love and forgiveness as well as hope. This book is a must read for all Christians. In going to the place that I did not want to go I found the place that I needed to go. This is the best spiritual book that I have read in years. I wish we had published this book.

A Magnificent Synthesis

Having "The Genesee Diary" many years ago, and upon learning of Nouwen's untimely death, I was surprised to learn that he had written over 30 books. I was, and continue to be, overwhelmed by hearing his talk on "The Prodidgal Son." This represents a magnificent synthesis of his lifetime of searching. The fact that his cascade of insights is triggered by the painting of a fellow Dutchman, Rembrandt, and a searching soul as well, is remarkable. Because Nouwen is both priest and psychologist, I found his insights to be even more pointed and thought-provoking. When listening to this tape while driving, I have often pulled off the road because I was stunned by his cutting right to the core of so many issues. This could only come from a lifetime of struggling.Native Americans believe in the healing power of stories. Jesus was, among other things, a story teller. Nouwen tells his own story of going out and returning, using the prodigal son parable as a framework, in these talks. This is truly a warm, wonderful, and deeply human volume. I highly recommend it.

A story of Homecoming

The spiritual genious, Henri Nouwen, carves on paper an enlighting personal experience of Love. By contemplating Rembrandt's masterpiece; "The return of the prodigal son", the author reveals an aparently hidden road to happiness, and impells us to follow his steps towards a deep conversion. It is our own story, one of a long journey away from the Father, pursuing things that keep us far from his motherly womb. He offers always his gentle and healing embrace. Let us walk along with Henri Nouwen towards our home, our Peace, and our true Joy, to the arms of this everforgiving Father.
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