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Tuesday, 1 February 2022

True Revolution - Pope Benedict XVI - The Call to Be Christian Today

True Revolution: 
The Call to Be Christian Today
Pope Benedict XVI
ISBN 9781860823442
CTS Booklet Do737


Over the last few years I have read over 250 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. While researching a different book to review it I stumbled across several older titles from the CTS by Pope Benedict XVI. This is one of about a dozen that I added to my ‘to be read’ pile when I found them. Because they are out of print they can be harder to track down. This first one was well worth it. The description of this book is:

“Here Pope Benedict XVI speaks directly to the nagging questions and deepest longings of today's younger generation.

In a world where young people are bombarded by so many competing philosophies, choices, and lifestyles, Pope Benedict's invitation is clear: face up to life's profound questions, don't run away from them. Can a person ever really change for the good, or be truly happy? In Christ everything is possible, for in him lies the 'true revolution' of the human heart.

This powerful invitation to the young, taken from Benedict's addresses at World Youth Day in Cologne 2005, will not fail to move even the most careworn.”


The chapters in this book are:

Let yourselves be surprised by Christ!
If you abide in Christ, you will bear much fruit.
Catholics and Other Christians
True revolution comes only from God.
Catholics and Muslims- we must dialogue
The church needs the young.
Go Forward with Christ

I picked this book up and took it to me for a Holy Hour. I started reading it, and found many references to the Magi as this booklet is compiled from several talks given during the World Youth Day there in 2005. And I read the booklet on the Feast of the Epiphany, which was very fitting. I highlighted man passages while reading this the first time. They were:

“Dear young people, I am delighted to meet you here in Cologne on the banks of the Rhine!  You have come from various parts of Germany, Europe and the rest of the world as pilgrims in the footsteps of the Magi.  Following their route, you too want to find Jesus.  Just like them, you have begun this journey in order to contemplate, both personally and with others, the face of God revealed  by the Child in the manger.  Like yourselves, I too have set out to join you in kneeling before the consecrated white Host in which the eyes of faith recognize the real presence of the Savior of the world. Together we will continue to meditate on the  theme of this World Youth Day:  “We have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2).”

“Today, as I arrive in Cologne to take part with you in the 20th World Youth Day, I naturally recall with deep gratitude the Servant of God so greatly loved by all of us, Pope John Paul II, who had the inspired idea of calling young people from all over the world to join in celebrating Christ, the one Redeemer of the human race.”

“I repeat today what I said at the beginning of my pontificate: “If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great.  No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of the human existence truly revealed.  Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation”.”

“Dear seminarians, be the first to offer him what is most precious to you, as Pope John Paul II suggested in his message for you this World Youth Day:  the gold of your freedom, the incense of your ardent prayer, the myrrh of your profound affection.”

“On their homeward journey, the Magi surely had to deal with dangers, wariness, disorientation, doubts….The star was no longer there to guide them!  The light was now within them.  Their task was to guard and nourish it in the constant memory of Christ, of His holy face, of His ineffable love.”

“Dear young friends, in our pilgrimage with the mysterious Magi from the East, we have arrived at the moment which Saint Matthew described in his gospel with these words: “Going into the house, over which the star had halted, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him” (Matthew 2:11).  Outwardly their journey was now over.  They had reached their goal.  But at this point a new journey began for them, an inner pilgrimage which changed their whole lives.  Their mental picture of the infant King they were expecting to find must have been very different.”

“This is the panorama that this World Youth Day opens up before us. It invites us to look to the future. For the Church and especially for pastors, parents and educators, young people are a living call to faith and hope.”

“With the light and strength that comes from this gift, namely the Gospel which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly makes alive and active, we proclaim Christ fearlessly and invite everyone not to be afraid to open their hearts to him, for we are convinced that in him is found the fullness of life and happiness.”

“Dear Brothers, the experience of the last 20 years has taught us that every World Youth day represents a kind of new beginning for the pastoral care of young people in the host country.”

“The same applies in the field of Catholic education and catechesis:  I am confident that you will take care to ensure that the persons chosen to be teachers of religion and catechists are well prepared and faithful to the Church’s magisterium.”

“Jesus’ hour is the hour in which love triumphs. In other words: It is God who has triumphed because he is Love.  Jesus’ hour seeks to become our own hour and will indeed become so if we allow ourselves, through the celebration of the Eucharist, to be drawn into the process of transformation that the Lord intends to bring about.  The Eucharist must become the centre of our lives.”

“Through your love for the Eucharist you will also rediscover the sacrament of Reconciliation, in which the merciful goodness of God always allows us to make a fresh start in our lives.”

“Help people to discover the true star which points out the way to us:  Jesus Christ!  Let us seek to know him better and better, so as to be able to guide others to him with conviction.”

“This is why love for sacred Scripture is so important, and in consequence it is important to know the faith of the Church which opens up the meaning of Scripture.”

“The spontaneity of new communities is important, but it is also important to preserve communion with the Pope and with the bishops. It is they who guarantee that we are not seeking private paths but are living as God’s great family, founded by the Lord through the 12 apostles.”

“Today there are many forms of voluntary assistance, models of mutual service, of which our society has urgent need.  We must not, for example, abandon the elderly to their solitude; we must not pass by when we meet people who are suffering. If we think and live according to our communion to Christ, then our eyes will be opened.”

“Let us go forward with Christ and let us live our lives as true worshipers of God! Amen.”

This book is a little different. Being that it is drawn from 7 homilies and addresses. It is taken from talks during the World Youth Day but they do not all directly relate. It is a good read, and I am thankful I tracked it down. Now to find some of the others. A good read that I can easily recommend. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Benedict XVI:

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