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Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery

During his seven-month stay in a Trappist monastery, Henri Nouwen had a unique opportunity to explore crucial issues of the spiritual life and discover “a quiet stream underneath the fluctuating affirmations and rejections of my little world.” Nouwen participated fully in the daily life of the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York — in work and in prayer. From the early weeks in the abbey — dominated by conflicting desires and concerns — to the final days of Advent, when he finds a new sense of calm expectation, Nouwen never loses his critical honesty. Insightful, compassionate, often humorous, always realistic, The Genesee Diary is both an inspiration and a challenge to those who are in search of themselves.

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During his seven-month stay in a Trappist monastery, Henri Nouwen had a unique opportunity to explore crucial issues of the spiritual life and discover “a quiet stream underneath the fluctuating affirmations and rejections of my little world.” Nouwen participated fully in the daily life of the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York — in work and in prayer. From the early weeks in the abbey — dominated by conflicting desires and concerns — to the final days of Advent, when he finds a new sense of calm expectation, Nouwen never loses his critical honesty. Insightful, compassionate, often humorous, always realistic, The Genesee Diary is both an inspiration and a challenge to those who are in search of themselves.

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