Tuesday 21 August 2018

Finding Life's Purpose: Inspiration for Young People - Pope Benedict XVI

Finding Life's Purpose: Inspiration for Young People
Pope Benedict XVI
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827198

I recently picked up this volume and also Don't be afraid to be Saints: Words from John Paul II and Benedict XVI, World Youth Days 1984-2008. After reading this volume I am even more interested in reading that one. But back to this book by Pope Benedict XVI. I must first declare that even though this book was compiled based on talks given to youth, it is a book that any Christian can read and benefit from. I finished reading this book and immediately started reading it with my 10 year old son. He is really appreciating it, and it is likely one I will read multiple times over. This is an amazing little volume!

The chapters in this book are:

Happiness Comes From Friendship With God
Discover The Purpose of Your Life
Radiate Christ's Love To All
Making the Best of School and Study
Turn To The Saints

In the introduction we are told:

"It is not often that a Pope, or indeed anyone else, had the opportunity to speak to the students of the Catholic schools of England, Wales and Scotland at the same time. And since I have the chance now, there is something I very much want to say to you. I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some future saints of the twenty-first century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness."

Those words spoken to the young on September 17th and 18th in 2010 are just as valuable to us today, youth and those of us who are older. This book was very hard to put down, and thank to its brevity it can be easily read again and again. The tips in this book written for youth can be applied by any of us at any state in life. I have made a number of notes and have been applying them over the last week, and will continue to use this book as a tool for growth.

In the section Turn to the Saints there are brief biographies and prayers to:

St Thomas Aquinas
St Josephine Bakhita
St Damien of Molokai
St Rita
St Thomas More
St Martha
St Joseph of Cupertino

The prayers to the Saints are wonderful but the one I appreciated most was earlier in the book. It was a prayer for students:

Daily Study Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI

"Lord, you are my strength and my guide. Grant me wisdom and understanding. Help me to do the best I can, and to enjoy this day you have given me. Help me to be kind and considerate to the people you send into my life, and not to give up if things seem difficult."

I have added a daily calendar reminder to pray this prayer. And I added it to a collection of prayers I have been compiling. As I stated earlier this book is an incredible read and I highly recommend it. It is worth tracking down for young people in your life, or for your own growth and edification.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Benedict XVI:

Books About Pope Benedict:
Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI - Regina Doman and Sean Lam
Benedict XVI - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
A Pope of Surprises: The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky

Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI - Amy Welborn and Ann Kissane Engelhart

Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion – Amy Welborn and Ann Engelhart
Take Five: Meditations Pope Benedict XVI - Mike Aquilina and Fr. Kris Stubna

Related Articles:
Daily Study Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI
Which popes do you have a devotion to and why?

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