- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company; unknown edition (June 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0824523741
- ISBN-13: 978-0824523749
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Yes of Jesus Christ: Spiritual Exercises in Faith, Hope, and Love Paperback – June 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
This book, which contains spiritual exercises on Faith, Hope, and Love, was first written by Ratzinger for a retreat he conducted in Collevalenza in 1986. The meditations are very well documented scholarly pieces that
are more "lessons" than "exercises" - lessons written by a master teacher, a professor who enjoys keeping our focus by telling stories and introducing us to fresh insights into "old" concepts. I will relate a few of the ideas Benedict presents.
In the early pages he suggests that we need to learn the "skill of skills" or the "act of being human". Benedict posits that as people we are very good at making things and of dominating the world that God gave us. We, however, are miserable at the art of existence. Somehow we "lost" the art of how to live. We seldom even talk about what things and people "are", the very nature of "being".
Benedict relates that often people treat God as the "guarantee of human success", which degrades God. God is never defeated and HE is not diminished in human defeat. Actually God's promises become greater in human defeat, "as love grows to extent the beloved has need of it."
In his section on Love, Cardinal Ratzinger begins to establish the view of love as Eros and agape being natural to the establishment of "real love" that is a true gift from God. This is a clear preview of the encyclical Deus Charitas Est that he wrote as Pope.
Benedict`s insights on the Sermon on the mount, perspective on love and the cross, and attitude toward fear are edifying and increase the value of this work. I recommend this publication, especially for those anxious to grow in their faith in Jesus.
The second part of the book takes us back to the 1970s to focus on "the optimism of the modern age and Christian hope." This leads to him listing three Biblical examples of the nature of Christian hope - the Prophet Jeremiah, the Revelation of John, and the Sermon on the Mount. Part Three wraps up focusing on both hope and love, because the two belong together. Therefore, he discusses the essential nature of love, love and the Cross, and agape love. The book then ends with two sermons, which tie together faith and love, the first one focusing on inheriting eternal life and the other on the feast of St. Henry. Like most of Ratzinger's works, this is not one you casually skim or breeze through. This is one that you take the time to read and digest, and then re-read it, because if you're like me you missed a bunch your first time through.
This book was provided to me for free by Crossroad Publishing in exchange for an honest review.