Sunday, February 8, 2015

Catholic Review: The Joy of the Gospel

The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis, October 7, 2014 (originally published in 2013). 224 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
Pope Francis apostolic exhortation is a passionate call for every Christian to be constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others. He envisions a church of Spirit-filled evangelizers who exude joy and care for Gods people, especially the poor. "Evangelii Gaudium" is thought provoking, wide-ranging, and challenging to every Catholic. Those who carefully read it, study it, and pray with it will be ready for take up, with the whole Church, this new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality and, most especially, joy.
First Sentence:
The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.




Ah, The Joy of the Gospel really does make one feel the "joy" of the Gospel. At least it left me with that feeling as I began reading this one. There's just something about Pope Francis and his writing, as with all writings that I have read by various Pope's, that really speaks to one.

While I'm still working my way through The Joy of the Gospel I felt the need to start writing down my thoughts because there is so much to this book that one, or maybe just me, might begin to forget how certain parts left an impression and things that I wanted to talk about from it. So, as I work my way through this short yet dense book I'm going to write down what strikes my fancy and seems worthy of sharing with you, dear readers.

Even though many things struck in the first seventy pages, it wasn't until I reached the seventy-sixth and seventy-third pages that I felt compelled to share something I read with y'all. I know there are people out there that think the Catholic Church doesn't think to highly of women because they are unable to be priests, yet since the priest stands  "in persona Christi" (in the person of Christ) who was in fact both God and man it makes perfect sense, yet, I can see how some people can get all rankled over this with the skewed view on feminism. Yet, as I read the following lines it felt like something that should be shared:
Because "the feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of society, the presence of women must also be guaranteed in the workplace" and in the various other settings where important decisions are made, both in the Church and in social structures.
How much clearer can you get than that. That, yes, in all aspects of life women should be treated with equality because we are able to see things from a perspective that men just cannot understand. The more I delve into the Bible, the more I see how important both men and women equally are when it comes to keeping things in balance. At least, that's the way it is supposed to be. Seriously though, I could have quoted two entire pages from this book that deals with equal rights for both men and women within this book.   As this is a topic that could quickly overrun the review and get entirely too far off topic, I believe it's time to move on.

Oh dear, this review just keeps on growing!

So, if you've been following all the things that Pope Francis has been saying then you are well familiar with the term- the new evangelization. With that in mind, The Joy of the Gospel deals with evangelization and how we are called to be witnesses to the Gospel and Word, while still keeping in mind that message of the Gospel and not falling into elitist groups. even though that sounds like quite the tall order for mere humans such as ourselves, but, The Joy of the Gospel talks about that and how to keep it in the right gear, so to say.
   Really, there are so many interesting things contained within this book that it would take me probably take me somewhere around fifty pages to discuss it all and the implications it could have on deepening our Catholic faith and evangelizing.

Truly, I have enjoyed reading the writing of Pope Francis in The Joy of the Gospel. Not only have I been left with much to think and pray upon, I have enjoyed reading more on his thoughts on certain aspects of the Catholic faith and the evangelization. So, even though this book can seem like somewhat of a dense read, it is most definitely well worth checking out.

So, as I believe this review has slowly taken on a life of its own in length, I'm going to walk away now before it turns into an epic worthy of Homer (The Iliad and The Odyssey). In the time it has taken me to writing this, I have gone from halfway through to thirty pages left to read.

Final Verdict: The Joy of the Gospel-  A compelling read on evangelization and sharing the Joy of the Gospel.

The Joy of the Gospel earns

This book was received through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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