The 100 Book Mission™: Book 7

Clowning in Rome; Henri J.M. Nouwen; DLT

“Of the virtuosi we say, ‘How do they do it?’ Of the clowns we say, ‘They are like us.’ The clowns remind us . . . that we share the same human weaknesses.”

A book about the values of “solitude, celibacy, prayer and contemplation”- I must say that these 4 topics scare loads of people off, or at least put them off; myself included.
Mostly it’s because people are afraid of being alone with themselves, of seeing things as they are and of trusting a god they’ve known but never seen. Celibacy then, is another matter, mostly concerning people leading the religious life, to whom this book was addressed.

These activities in turn lead to a certain autonomy which makes Love genuine, coming not out of a need for affection or completion, but rather a generous outward act.

This gives seemingly insignificant activities (those to which Nouwen refers as “clowning”) a value which by far surpasses the actual act.

Not a book for everyone- it’s addressed at people in Christian ministry after all- but what’s inside still does count.

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