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The return of the prodigal son : a story of…

The return of the prodigal son : a story of homecoming (1992)

by Henri J. M. Nouwen

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Moving and beautiful spiritual devotions on Rembrandt's "Return of the Prodigal", painted in the artist's old age after a lifetime of suffering. In limpid and simple prose the author analyzes this group portrait, then meditates on the two sons--younger and elder--and the father. He tells us how much he personally has grown spiritually. Each of us has some negative emotions of each young man within and must struggle to become like the father, who forgives and loves unconditionally and compassionately, like God. There is also a fascinating page on the Parable of the Laborers in the Fields. The wages of everyone is the same no matter how long they worked is another instance of God's loving everyone the same. ( )
  janerawoof | Apr 10, 2016 |
An interesting book, reflecting on Rembrandt's painting of the return of the Prodigal Son. Nouwen reflects on his spiritual journey, thinking of himself in turn as younger son, older son, and finally father. Quite thought-provoking in places. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Henri Nouwen, a priest and a contemplative writer, was deeply moved by a poster of Rembrandt's painting of the kneeling Prodigal Son (of the Christian parable) being embraced by his aged father. Nouwen set out on a pilgrimage to the Hermitage in Russia, where the original Rembrandt is kept. The result is this meditation in print. It is a paperback, but beautifully done: The cover extends into an overleaf, allowing the reader to gaze at the picture and the text at the same time.
  Muscogulus | Mar 1, 2013 |
Henry shows the love of God through the three people in this parable - Father, elder son and youngest son. In it, we see his journey and our own back to the source of love - God Himself and our worthiness in spite of our faults. ( )
  johnkuypers | Jul 3, 2012 |
Eminent Jesuit theologian reflects on Rembrant's famous painting. ( )
  brone | Apr 24, 2012 |
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To my father Laurent Jean Marie Nouwen for his ninetieth birthday
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There was a man who had two sons.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385473079, Paperback)

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 chain of events that enabled Nouwen to redefine and claim his vocation late in his life. In this book, which interweaves elements of art history, memoir, Midrash, and self-help, Nouwen brings the parable to life with empathic analyses of each character. Nouwen's absorption in the story (and the painting) is so complete that the father's challenge to love the son, and the son's challenge to receive that love, become Nouwen's own. And Nouwen's writing is so clear and his tone is so appealingly frank and humble that readers--no matter how far from home--will find hope for themselves in the prodigal peace Nouwen ultimately achieves. --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:18 -0400)

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A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on a long spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell. In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt's depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son's return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's vengefulness, and the father's compassion. In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes the powerful drama of the parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times." -- BACK COVER.… (more)

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