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The Way to Christ: Spiritual Exercises Paperback – October 7, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This rich and practical book offers readers the unique opportunity of participating in a spiritual retreat given by Pope John Paul II.

About the Author

Karol Józef Wojtyla (1920–2005), known as John Paul II since his election to the papacy in 1978, was born in Wadowice, Poland. As a young man he enrolled in a drama school but then was forced to work in a quarry and a chemical factory during the Nazi occupation to avoid deportation to Germany. In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1946 and then in 1964 he was nominated as Archbishop of Cracow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal 1967.

During his pontificate, John Paul II inspired literally millions of the faithful through pilgrimages and during his hundreds of pastoral visits around the world, as well as through his many sermons and written works. As the successor of Peter and Vicar of Jesus Christ, he revolutionized the office of the modern pope. He took his mission out of the Vatican and around the globe, pushing back the boundaries of the old Christian Europe, while proselytizing, reforming, and opening new churches around the world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; New edition edition (October 7, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060642165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060642167
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 149 people found the following review helpful By NH_Hillbilly on January 20, 2001
This is a wonderful book. It is unclear from the title, but the content of the book came as retreats for University students in Poland given by John Paul II when he was bishop (and cardinal) in Cracow. The talks are so down to earth and personal. I love theology also, but the simple message to everyday students really touches the heart more profoundly. A particular strong point is the two short chapters given to female, then male students. The way John Paul II upholds the dignity of women is amazing. The way he tells young men from scripture that our problems are summed up as: "male arrogance, scant willingness to give, and the spirit of conquest," shows how he hits home in a concrete way. He also addresses abortion and the man's role in abortion with no compromise. The whole book is hard hitting and direct.
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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 5, 2005
Among the many accomplishments of the man known to the world as Pope John Paul II, his role as a teacher is probably the least trumpeted, but perhaps among the farthest-reaching of his talents. He has worked to shape the theological and spiritual direction, not only of Roman Catholics, but for Christians generally, and even beyond the borders of Christian thought. He was able to accomplish this was some integrity because he did not take syncretist approaches, nor did he shrink from stating very clearly what he himself believed.

This book derives from times he spent as a teacher of students; taking place before he was elevated to the papacy, these essays and lecture/conversations show a depth of thinking in Christian thought.

'It is significant in an age where it would seem the whole destiny of the person and of his existence must be guided and directed from outside,' he said, as he looked for the image of God that is contained in each of us. We are created in the divine image, and that image is reflected in our very being. Every human being has this image. If we deny this image and the relationship with God which it sets up, then we risk the fragmentation of our lives into a lot of external problems.

Humanity tends to ignore both its gift and its obligation in regard to being created in the divine image; the way of Christ is the way we are called to live this image into its fullness, the Pope advocated.

This is a good book for those who seek spiritual renewal; it could also be used as a guide of sorts for spiritual direction and retreats, both on an individual and more communal level.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Thomas G. Liang on July 2, 2001
The book is a written record of a conversational presentation of two retreats John Paul II gave 10 years apart before he became pope. Unlike formal books, it is easy to understand and very relevant to our times and very useful. It gives a flavor of theologically where he is coming from.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Patrycjusz Pindelski on July 28, 2005
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This book presents retreat talks for university students by Karol Wojty³a while he was still a cardinal. He doesn't speak as a pope but as an ordinary person and at the same time a great spiritual master. His words are very clear and lucid, even comonsensical but at the same time his message and vision is very deep. He appeals to our deepest yearnings and spiritual intuitions. I'm not a Catholic but a Buddhist but I really recommend this book to everybody as the author's vision seems to embrace all human beings no matter what their faith is.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2003
John Paul's words moved me, touched me, and inspired me to live closer to Christ. A man so filled with God's spirit is impossible to ignore and John Paul clearly shows us the way to spiritual intimacy and peace. An extraordinary little book!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 9, 2005
Knowledge is superb,and easy to learn from Pope John Paul the Second. He says that anyone can learn to pray and that everyone knows how to pray. People should not place themselves down in case they say they don't know. In a couple of minutes one can learn (to Pray to Jesus Christ). Prayer is recommended for one daily. One needs to Pray in order to be at Peace with oneself, as well as with Christ. We follow the commandments, we pray for ourselves, for the poor,repent of our Sins, pray for the sick children, the dead, and to Jesus Christ(most Importantly)-so we can have Salvation. It is through the Son that one will get to the Father. Like i said, very valuable knowledge. Yes! This book is highly recommended.

**another book i recommend to you is "How to avoid Hell" by Friar Schouppe."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brenda G. Zak on July 4, 2007
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My husband ordered this book and said that he liked it a lot but found it hard to follow at times. He attributes this more to the interpreter. My husband said you almost need a dictionary at times to follow it.
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