Soul, Mind and Heart:
Personal Reflections on Saint John Paul, Benedict and Francis
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan
Our Sunday Visitor
This ebook is currently available for free from Our Sunday Visitor at this link. It is a very quick read. It is full of personal reflections, inside stories and with a sense of reverence. Cardinal Dolan open's up and shares from his heart and his experience with the last three popes.
Dolan in the introduction states: "At the risk of an oversimplification, an easy way to think about these last three popes is this: the Soul, the Mind, and the Heart. The Church is meant to be the soul of the world, to put on the mind of Christ, and to reveal the heart of Jesus. I propose that we look at Pope John Paul II as emphasizing the soul of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI as highlighting the mind of the Church, and Pope Francis as giving priority to the heart of the Church." And he goes on from there to highlight examples from personal experience and the public ministries of these three great men. He uses these three as examples for us, in our day to day lives and our personal call to ministry, "Let's explore how each of these popes reminds us of, and encourages us to be renewed in, soul, mind, and heart."I will include one short example for each of the three pope's profiles in this book.
Relating stories about Saint John Paul he draws from a variety of sources: "His emphasis on the soul was evident to others. On his first pastoral visit to the United States, in 1979, he was greeted at the White House by President Jimmy Carter, who called him "the soul of the world." When he returned to the United States in 1987, Billy Graham called him "a providential prescription for humanity's exhausted soul." In 2004, Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal, a leader in Jewish-Catholic relations, was taking a group of Jewish leaders to meet with the Holy Father, not long before John Paul II died. The pope was in fragile health at the time, and somebody asked Rabbi Rosenthal: "The Pope is ill. He is feeble and can hardly talk. Why are you going to visit him?" To which the rabbi responded: "We're not going to see his body. We're going to see his soul."" Thus highlighting the great appeal and respect that Pope John Paul II had in his lifetime.
Reflecting on Pope Benedict Cardinal Dolan says: "The Church's rich intellectual tradition, so beautifully protected and handed down for centuries, is hardly a museum piece, but rather is a living force in the world today. This is because, as Benedict pointed out numerous times, our reason allows us to discover the truth, and truth ultimately points us to God. When reason is enriched by faith and Revelation, we have sparks. We have freedom. We have the ability to know what is true, good, and beautiful in the human person."
In writing about pope Francis Cardinal Dolan says: "In this way, Pope Francis reminds me of Bernini's masterful colonnades in Saint Peter's Square. Bernini said the columns are the arms of Holy Mother Church, reaching out to embrace the world and bring the world into the Church. Pope Francis reminds us that this embrace is especially necessary in the face of tragedy."
I hope that those three samples will entice you to give this little volume a read. Some of the personal stories are very moving. It is a great little read and how can you beat the fact that you can get the ebook for free!
Books by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan:
Called to be Holy
Soul, Mind and Heart
Praying in Rome
To Whom Shall We Go
Priests for the Third Millennium
Doers Of The Word: Putting Your Faith Into Practice
Advent Reflections: Come, Lord Jesus!
"Some Seed Fell on Good Ground": The Life of Edwin V. O'Hara
(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)