Historian Gabrielle Earnshaw is the founding archivist of the Henri Nouwen Archives in Toronto, Canada. She has been the adviser to the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust for eighteen years and is consulted throughout the world on Nouwen and his literary legacy.
She is the editor of several of Nouwen’s posthumously published books, including Love, Henri (a collection of Nouwen’s letters), You Are the Beloved (a collection of daily meditations), and the newly published Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety, based on lectures Nouwen gave at Harvard University in the 1980s.
In our conversation, Earnshaw shares not only her insights into the spiritual and literary legacy of Henri Nouwen, but also her own journey into the spirituality of silence — and how curating Nouwen’s archives helped her along the way.
Henri Nouwen spoke about silence in every book; it’s not like he had one book on silence — it’s in every book… it was really important to him… one of the most important themes in his writing. — Gabrielle Earnshaw
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
- Henri Nouwen, Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life
- Henri Nouwen, You Are the Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritaul Living
- Henri Nouwen, Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety
- Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart: Connecting with God Through Prayer, Wisdom and Silence
- Henri Nouwen, Encounters with Merton: Spiritual Reflections
- Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery
- Henri Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
- Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society
- Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey
- John Main, Word Into Silence: A Manual for Christian Meditation
- Laurence Freeman, Web of Silence: Letters to Meditators
- Jean Vanier, Tears of Silence: A Meditation
- Sue Mosteller, Light Through the Crack: Life After Loss
- Sue Mosteller, A Place to Hold my Shaky Heart: Reflections from Life in Community
- Sue Mosteller, My Brother, my Sister
- Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
- Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers (introduction by Henri Nouwen)
- Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality
- Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer
This is part one of a two-part interview. Part two will be released next week.
Episode 75: Silence and the Wisdom of Henri Nouwen: A Conversation with Gabrielle Earnshaw (Part One)
Hosted by: Kevin Johnson
With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall
Date Recorded: September 6, 2019