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On Christian Hope [Paperback]

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Item Number 362069  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   64
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.21"
Weight:   0.31 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 21, 2007
Publisher   USCCB Publishing
ISBN  1601370393  
EAN  9781601370396  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In his encyclical letter On Christian Hope, Pope Benedict XVI elaborates the significance of Christian hope in eternal life for contemporary Catholics by presenting examples of hope from the New Testament and saints of the Church. After affirming the modern practice of working to progress in faith with the help of reason, he reminds readers that hope ultimately depends on trusting in God's love for us, and that Christians can be strengthened by turning to God together, in community.

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More About Pope Benedict XVI

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. Bioethics & Culture
  3. Communio Books
  4. Fathers (Our Sunday Visitor)
  5. Giniger Books
  6. John Ratzinger in Communio
  7. Publication
  8. Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
  9. Spiritual Thoughts

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Refreshing View on Hope   Apr 20, 2008
People ask why would anyone want to read an encyclical? To me, Benedict XVI is an excellent author and has written a wonderful letter. While reading this I became excited about my faith and anxious to learn more, to understand and share the insights of this marvelous new spiritual leader. As with his previous encyclical, Benedict discusses spirituality in a fresh new way. His insights may clarify challenges some Christians have with Vatican II spirituality.

The Pope begins strongly in the Introduction by referring to Romans 8:24: "in hope we were saved", and follows by explaining that our redemption is not simply given, it is "offered" to us and must be accepted as we lead our lives. I found the entire encyclical spiritually uplifting, but will only focus upon a few of the Pope's teachings:

The performative nature of the gift;
Faith as substance;
Faith leading to our ultimate goal;
The community nature of hope;
Prayer as hope.

Hope does not so much provide information as demand performance. According to Benedict. "hope is life changing". Through the letter we learn that God loves us very much and that we await his eternal love. The Pope refers to Romans 8:38 saying that human beings need unconditional love. Nothing can separate us from God's love. Hope, through such intense love, must be passed to others. Hope in God's overwhelming love must be shared.

Faith with hope is "the substance of things hoped for", It accepts facts and promises that are unseen and not able to be proven by earthly means. Hope infects our soul and allows us to accept the unseen. With hope our "faith gives life a new basis". Our way of acting and living" is the only proof needed. The peace, serenity, and happiness of Christians is the best proof of the value of our faith.

Hope leads to a contradiction. Our hope through Faith leads us to ask if
we actually want eternal life. The Pope suggests we need to decide whether we really want the kingdom of Jesus, or earthly pleasure and success. This world's hope for me differs from my hope through God. Since hope leads us to revising our lives, living for others, and accepting God's eternal love, it clearly leads us to our ultimate goal of eternal life in heaven with our Savior and our God. Living with our hope is our choice.

Benedict says that hope is not individual. Our Christian hope is through community. Focusing upon myself is like a "prison" from which I must escape. We seek God as a community of believers instead of in a "selfish search for salvation which rejects the idea of serving others."

The Pope tells us that we are vessels of the Lord. As vessels our "hearts must be enlarged and then cleansed." We will work hard to attain such growth. We must develop our prayer lives to learn how to communicate with God. We must "learn what is worthy of God". We must ask not for worldly comforts and desires. We must purify our wants and needs.

Spe Salve presents a fresh approach to the teaching of ancient concepts. It is worth more than a quick glance. It needs to be studied and prayed over. I recommend this encyclical.
A Marvelous Expose on the Nature of Christian Hope  Mar 10, 2008
As always, this work of Pope Benedict XVI strikes the reader as being magnificently united to the greater corpus of his work. In many ways, all of his thought has circled in no small way around the question of what the true nature of hope is and what are its ramifications. From his earliest considerations of Bonaventure's eschatology and experience of the rise of Marxism in the circles of his scholastic contemporaries, Pope Benedict has continually investigated the question of progress, hope, and faith in the Christian sense. For this reason, Spe Salvi serves as a masterful recapitulation of over sixty years of philosophical and theological thought and prayerful living. It is a concise consideration of the nature of faith as the substance of hope and how that substance becomes a sacramental sign in the world, through prayer, suffering, and general life-long conversion. It also confronts the maladies of faith which have arisen in thinkers since the enlightenment and the shift from faith sustained by the grace of the Being which precedes us to - eventually after a path of development - faith in that which is made by us, a faith which led to the disasters of the twentieth century.

Too many words in a review for this succinct, yet profound, encyclical would only dull the radiance of its brilliance. I highly recommend it to all who are interested in knowing the core Catholic understanding of faith and hope.

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