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Milestones [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Rich in humor and culture, as well as passion and love for the cause of God and of man, Milestones is the early autobiography of Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger. It tells the fascinating and inspiring story of his early family life, the years under Nazi oppression in Germany, and his part in World War II—including how as a teenager he was forced to join the Hitler Youth and the German army, from which he risked his life to flee.

This book also recounts Joseph Ratzinger’s calling and ordination to the priesthood, the intellectual and spiritual formation he received, his early days as a parish priest, his role as an expert at the Second Vatican Council, his experience as a popular university professor and theologian, and his appointment as Archbishop of Munich-Freising in Germany. Joseph Ratzinger would go on to serve for over two decades as the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith under John Paul II, before being elected pope himself in 2005.

Written before Benedict XVI became pope, Milestones remains a valuable road map to the man’s mind and heart. It dispels the media myths and legends, and it reveals the real Benedict XVI—a man of the Church who loves God and humanity, a scholar, a theologian, a teacher, and a humble pastor with deep compassion and profound spiritual insight. Illustrated.

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

Product Details

  • File Size: 2766 KB
  • Print Length: 164 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0898707021
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (October 7, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0046A9RGI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,419 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant and Instructive Book January 5, 2003
Cardinal Ratzinger's memoirs are brief and pleasant enough to read easily in one sitting. They are full of interesting biographical background that conjures a picture of family and professional life full of simple joys and of earnest intellectual pursuit of the truth. It is a refreshing and inspiring picture given the prevalence of cynicism and nihilism in our modern Western societies. His vignettes once again demonstrate that simplicity of life is the best route to lasting joy.
But in addition to the personal, we also have insight into the theological and cultural currents in the Church from the end of the Second World War into the late seventies. Especially interesting is Ratzinger's view of the Second Vatican Council from within and how destructive forces have exploited the Council in ways unimaginable to the Council Fathers. The other related facet is the frank portrayal of the ongoing conflict within the Church-- a conflict between those who accept the revelation of the living God given in both Scripture and Tradition always necessarily together (and never apart), and those who wish to remake the Church into an essentially agnostic society whose beliefs fluctuate with the latest academic fads. This book makes a perfect introduction to Cardinal Ratzinger's theological works.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ratzinger: A Gentle Glimpse April 20, 2001
In "Milestones" Ratzinger, the Cardinal, allows us a little glimpse at the soul of Joseph, the man. Yes, there truly is a human individual behind the persona which catches the headlines; and not always in the most favorable of lights. This brief, interesting, easily read 150+ pages shows us a man who loves and is loved by a family with encounters, some normal and others not so due to the times in which lived. We are permitted to see a man, priest, scholar making decisions based sometimes upon very ordinary and personal considerations.
"Milestones" in a quite simple way ties together some great Catholic, theological thought represented by the individuals who walked across the stage of the Cardinal's life; Rahner, Kung, de Lubac, Congar, von Balthasar, Danielou, Bouyer, et alii. Individuals some of whom I have met only in their works were his contemporaries. I find it interesting that this present papacy reflects the theology of not only John Paul II himself but of that of the likes of de Lubac, Congar, von Balthasar, etc.; theological currents with an appreciation for Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Fathers of the Church. And in its midst is a man comfortably familiar with it all, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.
The book includes a selection of illustrations which give it a very warm and inviting setting. We see the Cardinal not only in his official capacities but also in some very personal moments with family and friends.
"Milestones" is a simple but important introduction to a man who, one suspects, is far more than just Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. At its end it leaves one wanting more.
Without hesitation, I give "Milestones" a five star recommendation.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Cardinal Ratzinger April 1, 2000
This book was wonderful to read and have a sense of the author's personal experience from childhood, living under the Nazi's and Communists, becoming a Priest, Bishop, and Cardinal. The focus is not so much theology but that comes into focus at various times as the author describes his involvement with pre-Vatican II events , the Council itself and the aftermath. It is very insightful for anyone wishing to have a overall picture of the process of the Vatican council and the theological processes that were there at war with each other. Great way to get a picture of the mind of Cardinal Ratzinger.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"I have carried my load to Rome and have now been wandering the streets of the Eternal City for a long time. I do not know when I will be released, but one thing I do know: that the exclamation applies to me too: "I have become your donkey (In terms of bearing loads, not of foolishness), and in just this way I am with you."--Pope Benedict XVI

After Pope Benedict was elected I of course wanted to read some of his writings, I figured his memoirs was the best place to start. I have to say it was a very very brief, but engaging read. Having seen him characterized over and over while cardinal as a hard and unfeeling person, it's amusing to see just how sensitive he actually is, and to see his very human faults as well as his strengths. It also clarifies much of the rumors that have built up around him, particularly in the days of World War II.

I really loved this book, my only complaint was that the photo montage was a little too long, because many of the pictures are the same picture from various angles.

I highly recommend it as a first stepping stone in getting to know Pope Benedict XVI
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Brief September 10, 2005
With the elevation of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy this year, the Roman Catholic Church has not only elevated an experienced bureaucrat, but a theologian of the first rank. I've been reading a swath of Ratzinger's books, but I decided to start with his memoirs to get a better understanding of "Ratzinger the man."

Ratzinger was born into a Catholic and anti-Nazi family in Germany near the Austrian border. At the end of World War II he was drafted into the German army, but deserted. He was invited to the Second Vatican Council in the 60s. Even if he hadn't become a confidant to JP II, he would have been seen as one of the more important Catholic theologians of the century. (For example, his INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIANITY was translated into English in 1969.)

This book covers Ratzinger's life up to the time he was named bishop in 1977. Ratzinger's studies and career intersected with many of the most important names in Catholic theology, such as Michael Schmaus, Hans Kung, Romano Guardini, Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar. The book makes for pleasant reading, but if you take out the photos, it's only 115 pages long.

What I found most interesting was that in a couple of places Ratzinger hints that his career advancement was delayed because certain (unnamed) church officials and theologians suspected he was something of a liberal. If Ratzinger doesn't want to name names, at least he could tell us what the controversy was about. Inquiring minds want to know.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
Very interesting experience from Pope BXVI. Although the narrative ends in the year 1977, the book explains the whole formative process and early life of one of the most remarkable... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ignacio
I have read this book at least four or five times, PROFESSOR RATZINGER's life was very compelling and brought me into a world I did not know. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gail M. Yannarelli
4.0 out of 5 stars Facets of a Future Pope
In 2013, as Benedict XVI (Ratzinger) becomes Pope Emeritus, many readers will look to this book for clues concerning his papacy. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mike DePue, OFS
5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming Reflection of Formative Years
Published before his elevation to the papacy, "Milestones" is a charming autobiography covering the first fifty years of Benedict XVI's life. Read more
Published on December 12, 2008 by Kevin M. Derby
5.0 out of 5 stars Still want to know more about him
The first 50 years of Joseph Ratzinger's life. I liked Joseph Ratzinger very much prior to 2005, and have loved him very much since he's been Pope. Read more
Published on July 12, 2007 by E. Ogilvie
4.0 out of 5 stars Milestones, a review of the first half of the life of the current pope
Milestones is a highly readable, name-dropping autobiography that illuminates some of the life and thinking of the current pope. Read more
Published on November 19, 2006 by M. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Ratzinger a Nazi?
When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI over a year ago, many journalists quipped that "Ratzi the Nazi" is now Pope. Read more
Published on September 2, 2006 by Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant reading limited by years covered
Like most people, I read this book, to see what the new Pope had to say about his own life. This book is most interesting when he talks of his childhood. Read more
Published on August 28, 2006 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish it were a lot longer (actual memoir consists of only 113 pages,...
"As a rural policeman, my father was transferred frequently, so we were continually on the road." That is, until 1937 "when my father turned sixty and retired. Read more
Published on August 1, 2006 by brian komyathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start on the path to the history and theology of Ratzinger

What is truly wonderful about this book is that you "hear it from the horses mouth. Read more
Published on June 7, 2006 by D. Horan
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More About the Author

Born in 1927 in Germany as Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI has been head of the Roman Catholic Church since April 2005. A prolific author, theologian and university professor, Ratzinger served as an "expert" at the Second Vatican Council, and was tapped in 1977 by Pope Paul VI to lead the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In 1981, Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to head the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he served until his papal election.

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