Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1)

John Paul II. Ed. Vittorio Messori. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1994.

Why read it? Well, it isn’t easy to read. But John Paul II was a great human being and his ideas are worth considering. The purpose of the book is to answer questions that people have about the Catholic religion and about other religions as well. Some important questions, I’m afraid, remain unanswered, at least to my satisfaction.

Sample Ideas and Quotes:

“What is prayer? It is commonly held to be a conversation.” p. 16.

“Man achieves the fullness of prayer not when he expresses himself, but when he lets God be most fully present in prayer.” p. 18.

“The Pope…is a man of joy and a man of hope, a man of the fundamental affirmation of the value of existence, the value of creation and of hope in the future life.” p. 22.

“Suffering, in fact, is always a great test not only of physical strength but also of spiritual strength.” p. 25.

Saint Paul’s truth about ‘completing the sufferings of Christ.’ ” p. 25.

“Mercy—that is, love that goes out to those who are suffering.” p. 26.

“According to the ancient exhortations of the saints and doctors of the church, the Christian ‘believes in order to understand’; but he is also called ‘to understand in order to believe.’ ” p. 28.

To be continued.

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