Recently, reading Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit, by Kevin Burns, I recalled how Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) impacted my life and spiritual development with his writings, most particularly by his idea of a what he called a “wounded healer.”
As a young Franciscan friar in the early 1970s, I was finding my way in life and in ministry. That was when I first encountered Nouwen’s work in pastoral psychology. What impressed me were his insights into human frailty and suffering. Nouwen believed that all personal problems, with their suffering and joy, could become a way for finding a greater awareness of how God works in the human spirit and, thus, a path to effective ministry. Let me explain by way of a personal illustration.