In this short work Henri Nouwen offers a penetrating reflection on the challenge of the spiritual life, especially the call to imitate Christ’s example of “downward mobility.” This vocation is sorely tested by the constant celebration of “upward mobility,” which brings to mind the temptations Christ faced in the wilderness: to be “powerful, relevant, and spectacular.” To prepare us for this path, Nouwen describes the “disciplines of spiritual formation,” represented by the Church, the Word of God, and the promptings of our heart.
Illustrated with drawings by Vincent van Gogh, The Selfless Way of Christ is an inspiring guide for ministers and everyone walking the path of discipleship.
“When I first came across Nouwen’s phase ‘downward mobility,’ it struck me as radical, counterintuitive, and profoundly true. His reminder of Jesus’ message goes against nearly everything in modern life, but ignoring it has led to most of the urgent problems we now face: global warming, poverty, and a deep sense of alienation. Perhaps it is not too late to change, and Henri Nouwen has shown the way.” — Philip Yancey
Henri Nouwen, who died in 1996, remains one of the world’s most popular and influential spiritual writers. His many books include Adam, With Burning Hearts, Peacework, and Love in a Fearful Land. The present work, based on a series of articles originally written in 1981, appears in book form for the first time.