The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri J.M. Nouwen Online

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
Title : The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780232520781
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 160

A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son, catapulted Henri Nouwen into a long spiritual adventure. In his highly-acclaimed book of the same title, he shares the deeply personal meditation that led him to discover the place within which God has chosen to dwell. This Lent course, which has been adapted from the book, helpA chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son, catapulted Henri Nouwen into a long spiritual adventure. In his highly-acclaimed book of the same title, he shares the deeply personal meditation that led him to discover the place within which God has chosen to dwell. This Lent course, which has been adapted from the book, helps us to reflect on the meaning of the parable for our own lives. Divided into five sessions, the course moves through the parable exploring our reaction to the story: the younger son's leaving and return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's resentment and the father's compassion. All of us who have experienced loneliness, dejection, jealousy or anger will respond to the persistent themes of homecoming, affirmation and reconciliation.


The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming Reviews

  • Roger Brunyate

    Coming HomeThe Return of the Prodigal Son, 1636The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1642The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1668I was trained as an art historian, so I tend to look at Rembrandt's three versions of the parable of the Return of the Prodigal Son in terms of the artist's stylistic evolution: the baroque energy of the etching made when the artist was 30, the moving simplicity of the pen and wash drawing done six years later, and his final version, painted only a few months before he died, por [...]

  • Laysee

    "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds" - W. Shakespeare The return of the prodigal son is a homecoming story that is as old as the hills and familiar to most. It is in essence a story about the breadth, depth, and height of a father's love. This time, the story is touchingly retold in a fresh new way alongside a famous painting of the same parable.Its author, Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen (1932-1996,) was a Dutch-born Catholic priest, a pastoral psychologist, and professor. He tau [...]

  • booklady

    Father Nouwen's book forever changed me and the way I understood this parable of forgiveness, love and our relationship with God, the Father. I first read this book in 2001 and was amazed to discover the richness and depth within the simple story told by Jesus, and also grateful to be introduced in such a profound way to Rembrandt's famous painting which adds layers of meaning to this amazing parable about the vital aspects of Relationship. Henri J.M. Nouwen—priest, author, teacher, renown pub [...]

  • Meghan

    Using Jesus’ well-known parable and Rembrandt’s painting of The Return of the Prodigal Son, Nouwen performs a thorough and meaningful close-read, expounding on the spiritual roles of Father, Brother, and Son (or, more appropriately, Parent, Sibling, and Child, since Nouwen does not dwell on gender specificity). Divided into three main sections, the book describes each of these figures, drawing further insight from Rembrandt’s painting and corresponding events in the painter’s life. The d [...]

  • Marie

    The Futile, Powerless God of Henri Nouwen"Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God." – Henri Nouwen The parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 used to be my favorite Bible passage. Until a contemplative mystic priest named Henri Nouwen ruined it for me.Several years ago, I wrote about my brief [...]

  • Longfellow

    So much of the time it feels like Nouwen is writing about my life as much as his own. So far, this is yet another example.Beautiful book that for me needed to be soaked up slowly. 3-4 months for me to read 140 pages. After finishing, and claiming no expertise in the matter, I'm going to say all pastors should read this book. Why? Because of this conclusion: "Our community is full of wayward and angry children, and being surrounded by peers gives a sense of solidarity. Yet the longer I am part of [...]

  • Federico De Obeso

    Esta es la revisión que más me ha costado escribir. Por que lo que diga no reflejará lo que este libro puede transmitir. He disfrutado tanto leerlo y he aprendido tanto sobre cómo puede ser mi relación con Dios, que recomendarlo es poco, yo te diría que lo leas, y lo leas ¡ya!. Que lo medites y que te lleve a mirar a tu interior.

  • Kelley Bodwell

    I felt less alone after reading this book. Despite Nouwen's Catholic background, I was surprised at his firm grasp and pronouncement of the gospel, and so encouraged by his vulnerability regarding his own flaws and trials. While I wasn't always engaged with some of the detailed art theory, that wasn't a majority of the book (although it is the main reason I knocked off a star). His love for God and desire to really know God is genuine and contagious. I look forward to reading more of his books.

  • Matt Bianco

    I received this book as a gift from a dear friend. And it may be one of the more important books I've read year to date. There are some books that a person reads, and it is just the book that person needs to read at that moment. This was one of those books for me. It may not be the book someone else needs to read today, but it will probably be a book you will need to read someday.Nouwen's book is simultaneously autobiographical and devotional. But, it is more than just a devotional book on the B [...]

  • ♥ Ibrahim ♥

    The heart of the Bible is the parable of the Prodigal Son and Henri Nouwen's book on this parable is by far one of the best. I can read it over and over again and feel like I am reading it for the first time in my life. If you want to know what type of God we have in Christianity, then begin with this book and you will be proud that you are a Christian!

  • Mary Beth

    While I don't agree with all of Nouwen's theology, this was a great book. There is a lot of insight here, not just about God as the Father, but about our relationships with other Christians.

  • Rick Davis

    I liked this book. Basically my wife's review covers exactly what I would say about the book as well.

  • Matt

    Nouwen is that person who can see something that's become too familiar in a new way, and therein lies the value of his writings. The Prodigal Son is one of the best known of Jesus' teachings, but Nouwen uses an examination of Rembrandt's rendition of the parable to analyze all of the characters involved and ask if, maybe, we miss the point of the parable, especially in the way that we tend to only identify with the prodigal himself.Along with profound thoughts on the parable, the book is full of [...]

  • James

    I read this book the first time over a decade ago and recently reread it. This is vintage Nouwen. In this book, Nouwen reflects on Rembrandt's paintingThe Return of the Prodigal Sonand uses it as a window to look deeper into Jesus's favorite parable. Nouwen helps us examine in the lost younger son, in the judgmental older son, and in the loving embrace of the father. Each of the sons are recapitulated in Jesus--the true younger son who leaves his home with the Father to welcome us back; and the [...]

  • Dawn

    I wish that I could give this book 10 stars. This and the Pursuit of God are my two favorite 'spiritual books'. I wish for one day that I could crawl into Henri Nouwen's head and experience God as he does. That would indeed be a wonder. I relate to this book because I think in my life's journey that I have been the older brother (very self-righteous) and the younger brotheroken over the ways I have hurt others and completed broken from the things I have done; both sons so in need of Grace.I thin [...]

  • Peter Blair

    This book has some crazily accurate descriptions of what a perverse need for human affirmation feels like, and how reception of God's love is the answer. The call to move from a son who receives love to a father who gives is also really striking. It was really interesting, and helpful, to see a treatment of the story that cast the younger son's severance from the father in terms of looking for affirmation wrongly and so-called 'cold' or 'spiritual' vices instead of lust.

  • Jacob Knepper

    Henri Nouwen writes a sort of exegesis from a painting of the Prodigal Son parable in the Gospel of Luke. Nouwen takes the reader through the inspiration he receives from careful prayer and meditation on the painting, and leads the reader to a better understanding of Gods Mercy.

  • Andy Flintoff

    Life changing. Helped me see the Father better.

  • T Taylor

    Rich and complex, Nouwen explores Rembrandt's mysterious painting of the prodigal son and father, while discussing the deep meaning of God's love.

  • Alexis

    My Reflection on Henri Nouwen's The Return of the Prodigal Son."I was dead tired, anxious, lonely, restless and very needy." How could this be, a priest and theologian, half a world away, 30 years ago, felt just like me? Aren't I the only one who feels this way? Isn't this how working moms of teenagers feel?Again and again Henri Nouwen echoed, predicted and faced the emotions I am facing and his Return of the Prodigal Son.Meeting with the small group (Small Christian Community - SCC) in the week [...]

  • Jorge Reyes

    A lo largo de mi historia personal y profesional he atendido a cientos de personas, algunas creyentes religiosamente hablando y otras no tanto, de diversas confesiones y niveles teológicos e intelectuales. En algunas ocaciones hemos dialogado sobre la famosa Parábola del hijo pródigo, algunos se han sentido representados o identificados con el hijo pródigo, otros con el hijo "obediente", incluso hay quienes se contemplan como los que están observando desde atrás, etc un proceso además de [...]

  • Joe Oaster

    I wish I could give this book a higher rating. I read a chapter a day as part of my morning devotions and absolutely was drawn in to this book the first day. I ended up printing a high definition picture and had the picture out while. I read to really look at the finer points and detail of the both the painting and the story.Not only did I love this book, I found myself looking at art differently and even began to look at more Rembrandt painting.This is a familiar story but Nouwen brings the sto [...]

  • Coleen

    This book, written in 1992, is both inspired by and provoked by Rembrandt's 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' painting. While I enjoy a variety of art, I am not an art connoisseur such that I can analyze art and determine what an artist was 'really' trying to say. So this book intrigued me in that it was probably the first time that I ever read a book which looked at each and every color and shade, body part and facial expressions, those who were present and those who were not in the drawing. Rem [...]

  • Preston

    A wonderful journey through a parable that is changing my life!Using Rembrandt's painting, The Return of the Prodigal as inspiration, Henri Nouwen shares his journey in reflecting on the painting and the parable. Cultural, historical, and religious context are brought to bear for each. Nouwen uses his personal journey, full of trials and challenges, to bring to light how each of us is at some point in our Christian walk the younger son and the elder son. He goes on to share how each of us will e [...]

  • Marcella

    This is a treasure. Nouwen meditates on the parable of the Prodigal son, devoting time to understanding the Prodigal, the elder son, and the father. He explores the deep love of the father, who yearns to bring his children home (where the children might live in/out of the fathers love). He discusses what causes us to “leave home” as well as how we live apart from the father’s love even as we are in his household. He finishes by considering how we might also become “father”, welcoming o [...]

  • Alan

    I read this book years ago, for Lent, and remember really liking it. I didn't like it as much this time. I wonder if it's because I now know that Nouwen identified as being gay (enpedia/wiki/Henri_N), but never seemed to reconcile himself to it? So, all his talk of love and acceptance rings hollow. He seemed not to have accepted that, indeed, God loved him just as God created him--gay. I'm sure that he knows this now.

  • Yari

    Henri Nouwen was inspired to write this book after viewing Rembrandt's 'Return of the Prodigal Son'. And what a revelation! Nouwen is so transparent with his own struggles and I could relate to all of it. The parable is so much more real to me the prodigal son's homecoming and reconciliation The elder son's jealousy and anger The Father's overwhelming compassion and forgiveness. Nouwen learned that we are all called to move from being a son to being as the Father to others. What a challenge! Jes [...]

  • Jacci

    This book has been truly life changing for me as well as for the people in my spiritual direction training cohort. Of all the books we've had them read, this is has had the most profound impact. It's short and it's readable. The story is intimately familiar but devastatingly deep and new. The inclusion of a flap with the Rembrandt picture that you can hold out as you read is really helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to grow spiritually. Prepare to have your life changed.

  • Lex Owens

    It's really about the essence of Christianity in one parable. The author's inspiration from Rembrandt's painting is quite thorough, covering the Prodigal son, the elder son and the father. Homecoming and reconciliation. I loved it!

  • Tucker

    A thoughtful take on the parable. Instead of focusing on the father's forgiveness of the wayward younger son who comes home, Nouwen identifies with the elder son who always behaved and who is spiritually lost because of his resentment of the dramas that others are going through.