A Spirituality of Caregiving Henri J. M. Nouwen, John S. Mogabgab

If you provide care for another person, whether you are a family member or a professional caregiver, you know that caregiving is hard, sometimes unappreciated work. But have you ever considered that it isn’t easy to be the care receiver?

“Caregiving is . . . about forming a relationship with another whom we might never have chosen to know. It is about doing all we do practically with the intention of growing into a relationship of respect, listening, presence, and truthfulness,” Henri Nouwen writes.

From the heart of Henri Nouwen comes wisdom for the caregiver about the transformational power of relationship in the unique bond between caregiver and care receiver. Interlacing stories from his own life and the lives of friends, Nouwen communicates warmth and compassion as he shares insights on what it means to be a caregiver and to be cared for.

Whether you have chosen to be a caregiver or were thrust into the role by circumstances, you’ll see how important and life-changing your work is. You’ll also be encouraged by this beloved author who has been touted as one of the most influential spiritual writers of our time.



  • To be a caregiver opens up levels of vulnerability to human suffering, disability, and spiritual exhaustion—but also to blessing. Henri Nouwen knew this from the inside out. His choicest wisdom about these matters is found in this luminous little book. I am once again indebted to him for a “truth deeper than we can articulate and a beauty richer than we ourselves can contain.” Any of us who are—or who will be—caregivers need this healing and transformative wisdom.

    —Don E. Saliers, Wm. R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology, Emeritus, Emory University
  • Caregiving can be an intimate act of compassion, a challenging chore, and a blessed moment of grace. This collection of Nouwen’s reflections on caregiving provides a refreshing and encouraging spiritual resource for family caregivers and professionals alike. I highly recommend this for all caregivers.

    —Greg Kepferle, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
  • A Spirituality of Caregiving is an exquisite, poignant gathering of Henri Nouwen’s reflections on the anguish and joys of providing care for one another.  Nouwen delves deeply and honestly into the the gifts as well as the enormous physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of the caregiving experience. Through personal experience Nouwen came to understand that caregiving can be a call to mutual spiritual presence. Both practical and inspiring, these reflections invite professional and private caregivers and care receivers to consider and explore a new view of caring—one full of hope and promise, and, most of all, blessing!

    —Jane Thibault, Clinical Professor of Gerontology and Geriatrics, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Author of 10 Gospel Promises for Later Life and coauthor of No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted

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