- Paperback: 219 pages
- Publisher: ATC Publications (December 31, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8170865875
- ISBN-13: 978-8170865872
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,074,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Light Of The World: The Pope, The Church And The Signs Of The Times
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About the Author
Peter Seewald is a veteran German journalist who has done two other best-selling book length interviews with Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI), Salt of the Earth and God and the World. He is also the author of Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait, and Pope Benedict XVI: Servant of the Truth. Pope Benedict XVI is the spiritual leader of over one billion Catholics, and a highly regarded theologian and the author of dozens of best-selling spiritual and theological books. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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"Light of the World" is well written and is encyclopedic with the range of topics covered. I found the book fascinating, provocative, enlightening, and inspirational. Those who doubted that the Roman Catholic Church was not in good hands with Ratzinger/Benedict would be wise to read this book. He is a brilliant teacher with a kind heart.
Benedict feels the world has lost its story. The world must rediscover the truth about itself as we are losing things that we really cannot do without. This is a time for change, a time for conversion. The world has so many problems that need to be solved but they will not all be solved unless God stands in the center and becomes visible again. The task is to show God to the people to tell them the truth. The truth about the mysteries of creation; the truth about human existence; and the truth about our hope, which goes beyond merely worldly matters. Where did we come from? Where are we going?
The following excerpts may help you to gain an appreciation for the gift Seewald has given us:
On the abuse scandal - "The ecclesiastical penal law functioned until the late 1950s. After the mid-60s it simply was not applied anymore. The prevailing mentality was the church must not be a church of laws but, rather a church in love; she must not punish. The awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased to exist. This led to an odd darkening of the mind. In this respect, there was a change of mentality about the law and the need for punishment. This also narrowed the concept of love, which in fact is not just being nice and courteous, but in truth is that I must punish someone who sinned against real love"... The abuse scandal should cause us to look at other abuses- abusive relationships, the abuse of our bodies and sexuality, and the abuse of my God given gifts. We simply cannot live in any way we please. God-given freedom is not arbitrary as it comes with an imperative to exercise freedom responsibly.
On intolerance - A new intolerance is spreading. We are basically experiencing the abolition of tolerance. Christian faith is no longer allowed to express itself. We are no longer allowed to live out our identity. This is THE real threat we face.
On progress - Is it progress if I can destroy? Is it progress if I myself can make, select, and dispose of human beings? Today, freedom is understood as the freedom to do anything. We have accepted the basic idea that progress is knowledge yields power. We can now destroy the world and lack the central perspective, namely the aspect of good. What is good? What is power? Is it just a matter of being able
Benedict notes, "today, the Church is the only thing that remains; the only refuge where there is humanity; something is being done for people. She is committed to proposition that life can go on -there can be care for the sick; children can come into the world and be raised. The church is a vital force that again and again creates new enthusiasm. St. Augustine said, ` world history is a battle between two forms of love - Love of self, to the point of destroying the world, and love of others, to the point of renouncing oneself."
This is a very powerful book. Benedict's depth and ability to teach comes through on each page. I recommend this to all Catholics - active or lapsed - and to those who are not and do not understand the Church's role as "Light of the World." And Benedict's answer to "Has Christianity Simply Played Itself Out?" At this time, Christianity, as it has again and again over two millennium, is developing a new creativity that will answer the question of God in new ways.
This is the third opportunity Peter Seewald has had to do this. I listened to his first interview, Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium: An Interview With Peter Seewald. I was very impressed by that. I was interested in this because of the questions that are asked (the topics are listed above in the Product Description). They are probably ones that we all would like answers for.
Like with his first interview, Seewald does not supply the questions ahead of time. He asks. The pope responds. This gives us the chance to hear the Holy Father speak his mind unrehearsed. It is here that we understand his grasp of the Church and its teachings, mission and history, as well as its problems, shortcomings, difficulties and failures. He hides from nothing. In fact, it is surprising how frank he is in his responses. It is almost as if he sympathizes with Seewald's looking for answers. He gives the Church a certain humanness that is very attractive, something that many are looking for at the parish level.
One of the strongest impressions that he has left in my mind is that he describes his role, not as you might expect--the world leader of a billion Catholics--but as someone who is to bear witness to Christ. This is exactly what he does in this interview, and does so well. He does not pontificate. Pope Benedict is certainly not a light-weight. His wisdom and understanding of matters is such that he can break things down to people at all levels, including children.
I first read this as an audiobook. It was only available from Ignatius Press at the time. Not simply satisfied with that, I bought the hardcover edition. I am now intent on diving into the text to draw whatever more I can from this second interview I have listed to.
A great contribution to the Church and to people of all faiths. I believe that this can help greatly in clearing up many misunderstandings people may have.
A great read! A page-turner!