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Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   182
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.22" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.53"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2006
Publisher   The Crossroad Publishing Company
ISBN  0824523822  
EAN  9780824523824  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The successor to Pope John Paul II shares a Lenten blessing that evaluates the meaning of the season, the significance of the birth and death of Christ, and the meaning of Jesus in the lives of Christians everywhere, in a spiritual meditation that follows such themes as the mystery of Mary and the Pentecostal sending of the Spirit. Reprint.

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More About Pope Benedict XVI & Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) is Pope emeritus of the Catholic Church, having served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II, celebrated his papal inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005.

Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic, serving as a professor of theology at several German universities—the last being the University of Regensburg, where he served as Vice President of the university in 1976 and 1977—he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as such, the primus inter pares among the cardinals. Prior to becoming pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century" as "one of the most respected, influential and controversial members of the College of Cardinals"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants.

He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position. He renewed the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, viewing the use of beauty as a path to the sacred, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s. Several of Pope Benedict's students from his academic career are also prominent churchmen today and confidantes of him, notably Christoph Schönborn.

On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and will continue to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae monastery for his retirement on 2 May 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI was born in 1927.

Pope Benedict XVI has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Benedict XVI
  2. Publication
  3. Spiritual Thoughts

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Feast in a Time of Fasting  Mar 1, 2008
This book feels like a gourmet multi-course meal. You begin with the appetizer of small reflections on the readings for each of the first few days of Lent. Then you dive into more and more substantial reflections on a diverse array of topics from the necessity of the connection between Christology and Ecclesiology to a beautiful reflection on priesthood. This is truly the sort of nourishing read one needs at any time, and in particular during a season which is geared to helping us grow in love of God and His Church.
Do not be dismayed by the few year's old publication date of this excellent collection of meditations upon this liturgical season, thinking that this is not therefore the "latest thing" in Lenten and Paschaltide theology. These reflections were actually first given as part of Pope John Paul II's Lenten retreat by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1983, already now a quarter century ago, and yet ring as truly and profoundly now as then.

As a former and respected seminary professor, who first recieved his position through the recomendations of fellow Catholic theologian, the influential and even infamous Reverend Father Hans Kung, who served as seminary professor for such influential Catholic theologians as Friar Leonardo Boff in Munich and who no doubt influenced the Basque Roman Catholic theologian, the Reverend and Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino studying in Frankfort, he who later served closely the martyred Jesuit community at the UCA in San Salvador, this talented seminary professor who also served with the Reverend Father Edward Schillebeeckx on the influential serial publication Concilium's editorial board, Pope Benedict XVI has the ability and the wisdom and the preparation to present for us the infinite mysteries, to express in human words the ineffable Spirit, to unfold for us that which is hidden deeply within the Lenten and Paschal Season, through the very words of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here we may read the genesis of these words, many of which spring from the Psalms, as explained here by Pope Benedict XVI, who thereby explains the fulfillment of the Messianic and prophetic promises of the Old Testament within the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the good professor ably wweaves the intimate communication between the Old and the New.

This book, so accessible here upon the this site, therefore presents for us faithful Roman Catholics seeking true and pure waters as we wander in the wilderness a rich fountain of Faith, a source of confidence and of wisdom, as these talks were given for Pope John Paul II by an able professor of Catholic dogma, and thus ought to be good enough for us as well, far better and richer and deeper for instance than the popularized and watered down offerings by Liguori of random writings by GK Chesterton around a Lenten theme. Read here instead in its fullness our Faith, our Roman Catholic theology, by one of its greatest authorities.

Of special interest to those who read this book and who realize this Pope and his predecessor condemn the US invasion and occupation of Iraq will be the Reverend Father Andrew Greeley's excellent collection of essays: A Stupid, Unjust, and Criminal War: Iraq, 2001-2007. Intriguing works by other approved authors of Roman Catholic theology mentioned in this review include Jesus in Latin America, Mysterium Liberations: Fundamental Concepts of Liberation Theology, Lord's Prayer: The Prayer of Integral Liberation, Praying With Jesus And Mary: Our Father, Hail Mary, and Lord Is My Shepherd: Divine Consolation in Times of Abandonment. Other recommended reading for this Lenten period include of course as ever Disarming the Heart: Toward a Vow of Nonviolence.
Journey To Easter  Mar 11, 2007
Excellent book to help deepen our faith as we journey through the Lenten Season to the beautiful Easter Celebrations.
To the heart of the matter  Mar 9, 2007
I found this book deeply inspiring. Pope Benedict is able to convey the most profound truths with extreme clarity and simplicity. His reflections lead the reader to encounter the Person of Christ, to discover Him and eventually to be willing to embrace the challenging invitation to follow Him on the way of true Love and Life. I loved it! I suggest it to anyone!
Reflections on Experiences with Christ  Mar 27, 2006
This is adapted from

This book is a re-publication of the earlier book Journey towards Easter, a collection of retreat talks then-Cardinal Ratzinger gave in the Vatican in the presence of Pope John Paul II during the Lenten season of 1983.

All the chapters are worth reading, but one stands out, especially during this time (Lent) of the liturgical year. "Chapter 4: The Paschal Mystery." It is divided into four sections:

1. Holy Thursday
2. The Washing of the Feet
3. The Connection between the Last Supper, the Cross and the Resurrection
4. Risen on the Third Day.

There are some powerful and prevocative thoughts here. Discussing the relation and root of the Songs of the Servant of God to understanding Jesus' death, Ratzinger writes:

"He made of his death an act of prayer, an act of adoration. ... [H]e cried 'with a loud voice' the opening words of Psalm 21, the great Psalm of the just man suffering and set free: 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'

"... [T]his dying cry of Jesus was the messianic prayer of the great Psalm of Israel's suffering and hope, which concludes with the vision of the poor satisfied and all the ends of the earth returning to the Lord. ... [T]he whole story of the passion is shot through with the threads of this Psalm, weaving in and out continually in an interchange between words and reality. ... It thus becomes clear that Jesus is the true subject of this Psalm ....

"... [W]hat took place at the Last Supper is an anticipation of the death, the transformation of the death into an act of love. ...

"The death without the Supper would be empty, without meaning; the Supper without the actual realisation of the death it anticipated would be a gesture without reality. Supper and Cross together ... The Eucharist does not spring from the Supper alone; it springs from this oneness of Supper and Cross ....

"Therefore the Eucharist is not simply Supper .... The Eucharist is the presence of Christ's Sacrifice, ... it is Christ distributing himself under the figure of bread and wine.

"... 'given for you', 'poured our for many for the remission of sins'. These words are found in the Songs of the Servant of God handed down to us in the book of the prophet Isaiah. These Songs presuppose the exilic period: Israel no longer has its Temple, the only legitimate place in which to adore God. So it seems exiled from God also--forlorn in the desert. No longer can sacrifices or expiation and praise be offered. The inevitable question arises: how can there now exist any relationship with God, on which depends the salvation of the people and of the world? In this passion, in this suffering of a life lived away from their homeland, a life far from their own culture, Israel underwent a new experience: the solemn praises of God could no longer be celebrated. The only possibility for drawing near to God was suffering for God. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Prophets understood that the suffering of believing Israel was the true sacrifice, the new liturgy, and that in this true litrugy Israel represented the world before the face of God. ... The hope found in their passion was that the suffering people were an anticipation of the true servant of God, and so, as 'sacramentum futuri' [a sacrament of things to come] , shared in his grace. By applying to the Last Supper these words about the Servant of God, Jesus says: I am this Servant of God. My passion and death are that definitive liturgy, that glorification of God which is the light and salvation of the world."

Here is where one experiences the preceding as a crescendo of sorts as Ratzinger builds up to then deliver the powerful and--to some or perhaps even to many--provacative lines about the people of Israel and their relation to the sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist:

"Here we touch upon an important point for the celebration of the Eucharist. Israel concelebrated the Eucharist with Jesus, in that they shared in the sufferings of the Servant of God. To participate in the Eucharist, to communicate with the body and blood of Christ, demands the liturgy of our life, a sharing the passion of the Servant of God. In this participation our sufferings become 'sacrifice' and so we can complete 'in [our] flesh what is lacking in Christ's affliction' (Col 1, 24)."

Pp. 103-107.


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