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Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus Hardcover – November 18, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (November 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824519973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824519971
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The secret of Pope Francis is found in this book." --Bishop Martínez Camino

"These deeply spiritual reflections on how we follow Jesus make the perfect holiday gift, and an ideal choice for daily spiritual reading. Open Mind, Faithful Heart reveals like no other book the depths of Pope Francis' deep faith, joy, and compassion. It is "not just for reading. It is a path for prayer and a guide for life." --Joseph V. Owens, S.J., translator.

"In 2011, as Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) was preparing to submit his letter of retirement to Pope Benedict XVI, he began to sort through his papers and the spiritual talks he had given over the years. His intention was to have some of them published as he retired. He entrusted the task of sorting them and deciding which ones were to be published to a few close friends and colleagues. This volume is a compilation of several of his notable talks and spiritual reflections over the years. Since his election as pope, there have been many books about Pope Francis. Open Mind, Faithful Heart is a book by him. The selections in this book are the deeply personal, spiritual thoughts of our new Holy Father. Many of them reflect his strong Ignatian background. All of them provide the reader with serious spiritual food. The book is comprised of four parts: Encountering Jesus, Manifestations of Light, The Letters to the Seven Churches and Human Prayer. The scripturally-based lessons contained in these reflections are deeply personal, spiritually challenging, and thoroughly pastoral. Each reflection concludes with prayer. If you have followed Pope Francis' daily homilies at Domus Santa Marta, and his more public homilies and addresses, you will hear echoes of these words in every part of this book. If you want to get inside Pope Francis's message today, this book will help you do that. For example, in the fourth section of this book, the section on Human Prayer, he speaks clearly about "drawing close to all suffering flesh." This "drawing close" he says, means "opening our hearts, showing compassion, touching the wound, aiding the injured...We must cultivate not just ways of thinking but also ways of proceeding that entail the following: loving justice with a desert thirst, preferring the wealth of poverty to the impoverishment produced by worldly wealth, opening our hearts with gentleness rather than inflaming them with ferocity, promoting peace as a value superior to all war and all evasive passivism, having a clear vision that comes from a pure heart and that keeps us from falling into the greed of storing up riches for ourselves. " These are themes that show up in so many of his teachings today. If you want to know where Pope Francis is taking us and the church today, these reflections from the past will enlighten the path he is setting for all of us for the future. This volume is highly readable and spiritually challenging for clergy and religious, lay women and men, and for all who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the mind and heart of Pope Francis." —Rev. Msgr. Paul J. E. Burkard, priest of the diocese of Buffalo, pastor of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica, Lackawanna, NY, President of Baker Victory Services and Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Nelson Baker

"Open Mind, Faithful Heart is a call to faithfulness and a warning against the temptations that every Christian feels at one point or another: tiredness, jadedness, settling into a comfortable life, clinging to power. There is not, however, a different message for each group, but one and the same for all. The call is to joy, but to a deep joy that is rooted in the cost of discipleship. "Pope Francis leads the reader into demanding propositions, and yet he manages to make them sound completely attainable." —U.S. Catholic


"If you are looking for an accessible, meaty, inspiring, and practical collection of meditations on the Bible, you need look no further. And from the pope no less, a pope who has his feet firmly on the ground, and has not allowed himself to be insulated from the people. "I like and highly recommend this book to any serious seeker of the truth, Protestant or Catholic, and indeed, any person open to the Spirit of God. As mentioned in the Introduction, this is the kind of book that will endure. And for good reason. "Forget the name and fame for the moment. This is an outstanding work no matter what the source. Crossroad has done us a service in putting this at our disposal. Reading it gives one the feeling of accompaniment with the pope on our spiritual journey. And who better to guide us along the way?" —Karl A. Schultz


"In a sea of books by, for, and about Pope Francis, this outstanding (and particularly attractive) volume by the Argentine Pontiff HIMSELF takes us inside his mind, heart and soul and gives us a blueprint for living, an example of how to live the Christian vocation. I highly recommend it!" —Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University

"The well-deserved initial public adulation for Pope Francis is giving way to an ardent desire to know more about this inspiring man and his previous work. This unique volume of reflections of Bergoglio, carefully selected and superbly translated, fills the void. Reading these four dozen brief texts of conferences Francis gave to pastoral workers will help anyone encounter Christ anew, and encounter the Pope in a new way as well. I highly recommend this volume as instructive and illuminating spiritual reading for all audiences." —Rev. Thomas Massaro, S.J.


"Christians of any denomination will find this book by the reigning pontiff to be of great assistance in their personal spiritual journey. Intentionally composed to be useful in ordinary day-to-day situations, the monograph will be highly useful for individual prayer and meditation as well as serviceable to prayer and Bible study groups." —Fr. Rick Gribble, CSC


"Since March 13, 2013, when we first saw Pope Francis stand a bit awe-struck on the papal balcony and ask the assembled faithful to bless him as he began his pontificate, we knew that change was in the air. And the Pope's subsequent actions and decisions have verified that—in ways more dramatically positive than we had ever imagined. This collection of 48 conferences of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., written before his election as Pope and most ably translated by Joseph V. Owens, S.J., allow his readers to know him close up and personal. His topics—ranging from Jesus in dialogue, to the courage of the cross, to reading the Apocalypse, to the solitude of prayer, to the mystery of talking to God—show the breadth of a spiritually deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture. Many of the essays conclude with an invitation to his readers to pray and reflect on his observations and insights, much in the spirit of what Saint Ignatius of Loyola does in the Spiritual Exercises. I highly recommend Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus."—Rev. Patrick Samway, S.J.

About the Author

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope on March 13, 2013, taking the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. His priestly ordination was in 1969, and in 1992, he was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires and given the titular see of Auca. He became Buenos Aires's coadjutor bishop in 1997, succeeded as the see's archbishop the following year, and was elevated to cardinal in 2001. He is the author of The Power to Serve. Gustavo Larrázabal, CMF, is a Claretian missionary from Argentina. He is the former publisher of Claretian Publications of Buenos Aires. As the editor of the works of Cardinal Bergoglio, he is also a close friend. Joseph Owens, SJ, is a Jesuit who has spent most of his active career working in the Caribbean and Central America. His various ministries have included grass-roots organizing, pastoral work, radio apostolate, and teaching. To learn more go to popefrancisbook.com.

More About the Author

Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. In his over 40 years as a Catholic Priest, he has drawn "high marks as an accomplished intellectual, having studied theology in Germany." He is seen as someone who personally straddles the divide between the liberals and conservatives in the Catholic Church. Francis has supported the social justice ethos of Latin American Catholicism, including a robust defense of the poor. At the same time, he has generally tended to accent growth in personal holiness over efforts for structural reform. To learn more go to www.popefrancisbook.com

Customer Reviews

Pope Francis is a brilliant man!
Daniel S Read
The popes message of acceptance, forgiveness and love permeates every page of OPEN Mind, Faithful Heart.
Vincent Bianco
The Jesuit who translated this book into English calls it "a path for prayer and a guide for life."
John Wren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By F. Ballard on November 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I’ll admit that I have been confused and disconcerted by the pope’s interviews, but reading Open Mind, Faithful Heart has helped me understand why the cardinals chose this man as our spiritual father. His faith is deep, heart-felt, and generous. He doesn’t water down any of the doctrines of the Church, but uses them as the ground upon which he stands, while reaching out to a world which has learned to view those doctrines through a jaundice lens, and trying to draw them closer to the person of Jesus—which is, after all, the point of the Church as an institution. Highly recommended!
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By William T. Ditewig on November 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Open Mind, Faithful Heart" is a wonderful collection of forty-eight brief reflections (I deliberately avoid describing them as "essays") written by then-Cardinal Bergoglio. Many of them read as if they began as short talks given during retreats, but whatever their origin, they are a wonderful, delightful and insightful resource for a questing heart and soul. I would strongly recommend that a person encountering this book for the first time should not read it as one would read an autobiography, even a spiritual autobiography, for this is not that kind of text. Rather, I recommend that one scan the Table of Contents and select a reflection that has particular resonance or interest, and prayerfully enter into the reflection as if going on retreat.

The text itself has been arranged somewhat thematically into four broad categories, but there is great variety even within each section. Several things stand out in each and every reflection. First is the overall tone of the texts. In the months since his election to the See of Peter, all have been struck by the new Pope's simplicity of style, he warm and engaging relationships with all he meets, and his focus on God's mercy and human touch. This is often contrasted with his predecessor's more academic style, tone, and obvious intellectual bent. These essays, however, broaden our appreciation of Pope Francis, for this is a many who has an intellectual brilliance and sophistication that might easily be overlooked. It is a useful reminder that our popes are all complex human beings who defy easy and simplistic characterization.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Vee on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Pope Francis is certainly all over the headlines, and his casual remarks have stirred all sorts of enthusiasm and controversy. I found it a real blessing to be able to read his considered thoughts, and reflect upon them in prayer. He has a profound vision of faith in Jesus, which I hope more people will learn about through this beautiful book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John Wren on November 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Jesuit who translated this book into English calls it "a path for prayer and a guide for life." An Archbishop says "in this book is found the secret of Pope Francis." I agree with them both.

This is a powerful handbook, accessible, but not something to read and forget. I've enjoyed and benefited from the initial reading, now as I reread it's clear this will be a constant companion.

It is a compilation of Pope Francis's writing that he and others painstakingly pulled together and edited into this book shortly before he was called to be our new Pope. It is not something thrown together at the last minute.

I'm going to suggest we discuss this in our online Jesuit Guide Faith Sharing Group, if you'd like to join the conversation see [...]
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Emma on November 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This collection of talks which Pope Francis gathered from his pastoral experience in Argentina is a precious window into his personal spirituality. It shows the combination of gentleness and firm religious principle which continues to puzzle those in the media and the blogosphere—while nourishing millions of Catholics who have become confused or discouraged. These deep, searching reflections are ideal for spiritual reading, meditation, or a study group at a parish or home.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deacon Greg on November 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Unlike virtually all the other books about the man we now know as Pope Francis, this collection of reflections was assembled by him, just weeks before the conclave which elected him pope. It is a profoundly personal volume, representative of his own spirituality and pastoral vision--and it's superb! Here are all the themes and ideas we've come to know during his early months as pope: encounter, mercy, prayer, the challenges of living a Christian life in the modern world...all presented with characteristic warmth and a sense of uncompromising hope. Love this pope? You will love this book! I know I will be turning to it often (and passing this out to priests and deacons for Christmas...there's a wealth of homily material here!)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mack on December 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
““In a sea of books by, for, and about Pope Francis, this outstanding (and particularly attractive) volume by the Argentine Pontiff HIMSELF takes us inside his mind, heart and soul and gives us a blueprint for living, an example of how to live the Christian vocation. I highly recommend it!” Deacon James Keating, Ph.D. Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Samway on December 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Since March 13, 2013, when we first saw Pope Francis stand a bit awe-struck on the papal balcony and ask the assembled faithful to bless him as he began his pontificate, we knew that change was in the air. And the Pope’s subsequent actions and decisions have verified that—in ways more dramatically positive than we had ever imagined. This collection of 48 conferences of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., written before his election as Pope and most ably translated by Joseph V. Owens, S.J., allow his readers to know him close up and personal. His topics—ranging from Jesus in dialogue, to the courage of the cross, to reading the Apocalypse, to the solitude of prayer, to the mystery of talking to God—show the breadth of a spiritually deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture. Many of the essays conclude with an invitation to his readers to pray and reflect on his observations and insights, much in the spirit of what Saint Ignatius of Loyola does in the Spiritual Exercises. I highly recommend Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.

Patrick Samway, S.J.
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