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Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season Paperback – February 1, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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  • Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

On April 19, 2005, CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER was elected POPE BENEDICT XVI and became the 264th successor to Peter as the "Vicar of Jesus Christ." He may well be the most accomplished theologian to be elected Pope in modern times. Beginning in 1981 he spent over 20 years as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a role often depicted as the "defender of the faith." Cardinal Ratzinger was also President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the Preparatory Commission that codified the new "Catechism of the Catholic Church," published in 1994.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company; Reprint edition (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824523822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824523824
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,367,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gregory J. Furke on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For Christians, the forty days leading up to Easter is a time of penance and contemplation culminating in the renewal of our Baptismal vows on Easter Sunday. Pope Benedict XVI's "Journey to Easter," offers us a guide to spiritual renewal during Lent through reflections on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The refections invite us to enter into Jesus' life through meditation, recognize our daily struggles in Him, and learn the way of love from his example. In Pope Benedict's able hands we are challenged to purify our souls and begin again with Christ as our role model. This book provides a road map for everyone on their journey to Easter.
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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. ...
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This book, the 1983 retreat preached by then-Cardinal Ratzinger to John Paul II and the papal household, is an incredibly deep and satisfying read. This is Ratzinger at his lucid best covering the territory of first week in Lent, the Christological nature of the Church, and the meaning of the priesthood. I was put on to this book by a friend who gave me a copy of a page discussing the Eucharistic. That short little section would be worth price of admission itself. But the book is full of gems such as that including a discussion of the parable of the Prodigal Son and our status as pilgrims or nomads in this life. This is a great book to read for Lent or any time you would like a book that pushes you spiritually and intellectually.
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Format: Paperback
Journey to Easter is a series of Lenten reflections given by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) during 1983 to the papal household of Pope John Paul II. The book begins with the First Week of Lent by walking us through the daily Mass readings from Cycle A or the Cycle of Matthew. We begin Sunday in the desert with Jesus where he spent forty days and forty nights, only to immediately be tempted by Satan. Ratzinger shows how other figures in salvation history went to the desert, like Moses and Elijah. Monday calls us to repentance, and the second meditation for that compares Christian Rome to Jerusalem. Tuesday enlightens the mystery of Mary. I could work my way through the rest of the week, but there is more in this book to discuss.

Part II walks us through The Mystery of Jesus, which includes the following three key passages of the Nicene Creed - "He came down from Heaven," "He became man," and "True God and True Man." The Paschal Mystery is also studied, including Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Lastly, there are meditation on Christ and His Church and the Priesthood. My favorite section in this book was easily the one on the Paschal Mystery. I always knew the importance of the Triduum, but this book further reinforced it. The way Ratzinger connected the Cross and Resurrection with the Eucharist is a passage I will reference and read again just to let it sink in further and meditate on it more deeply.

If you are a fan of reading Pope Benedict, like myself, then this is definitely a book you will want in your collection. It not only takes you on a journey to Easter, but a journey through Easter, as it covers Pentecost as well. It is also written in a clear, easily understood format and each sub-section is short enough that you won't feel overwhelmed with having to read a lot of pages to get to the main message. Five stars.
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not being able to go to a retreat,because i am far away from any Catholic Church, as a missionary; i am so happy to have papa benedictus as my retreat master, this lent. ..... as usual anything i read or hear from him, gives me growth spurts, that i could never have asked for or imagined.....may GOD bless him always........
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