This new book on the Light of Christ will be something everyone reading this article will want to read
When Fr. Federico Lombardi announced at noon on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 that Pope Benedict XVI had spent an entire week at Castel Gandolfo having conversations with Peter Seewald which would form the framework for a new book - observers of this Pope were not surprised. This new book, the Light of Christ will be something everyone reading this article will want to read. It will reveal the very human side of this gifted man and communicate the profound insights he has to offer.
This became the often repeated "conventional wisdom". However, what quickly emerged was something quite different than that "conventional wisdom". Pope Benedict XVI would continue the pattern of communicating comfortably with the faithful. Only, his manner and demeanor were very different from his predecessor. He just had different shoes ...and he fills them quite well. Observers of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger knew of his extraordinary gift of teaching, amply demonstrated in his career as a theologian and a professor. They also knew of his manner. He offers reflective, gently expressed and insightful comments in response to questions. He has done this for years; and often, in small groups. The format of question and answer as a means of communication has been part of his priestly ministry for a very long time.
He continued the practice since he assumed the Chair of Peter and has demonstrated his comfort with the medium. For example, we only have to call back to mind some of his back and forth dialogue with priests and even with children while he was on vacation. These dialogues reveal a kind man who is not only deeply evangelical, in the sense of wanting to bring people into an encounter with the Lord Jesus, but comfortable in his own skin and unafraid of spontaneity.
So when Fr Federico Lombardi announced at noon on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 that Pope Benedict XVI had spent an entire week at Castel Gandolfo having conversations with Peter Seewald which would form the framework for a new book - observers of this Pope were not surprised. After all, he has done this very thing in the past.
In 1996 then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was the Head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. He gave a series of interviews to Peter Seewald. They became the best selling "Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium". Those answers to the German Journalist on a wide range of subjects are still being reviewed by those following this Papacy. In 2002, he did it once again - with the same journalist. It produced a sequel entitled "God and the World: Faith and Life in Our Time".
The reports on the announcement swept the global media on Tuesday. It all began with the fullest report in Germany's Daily Mail. That report confirmed that this newest series of interviews will become a new book which is tentatively entitled "The Light of the World". Once again, the Pope has chosen Peter Seewald. There are several reasons. First, he is loyal to his friends, as well as his students.
For example, he still meets with those who studied under him for their Doctorates when he was Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, a theology Professor. They are affectionately referred to as the "Ratzinger Study Circle." They gathered at Castel Gandolfo just this past week. They have met continuously since the late 1970's and include many lights in the Church whose lives and apostolates have been deeply enhanced by their relationship with this gifted man.
Not only is Peter Seewald a highly respected European journalist, but he admittedly owes much to the priestly ministry of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI. He openly acknowledges that he was an atheist until his encounters with the Pope. Those encounters led to his conversion to the Catholic faith.
This desire for all men and women to encounter Jesus Christ is the very core of Pope Benedict XV's mission and reveals his heart. In his encyclical letter on the Love of God he writes "Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction."
This new book on the Light of Christ will be something everyone reading this article will want to read. Like his other interviews it will reveal the very human side of this gifted man and, due to the format, it will communicate the profound insights he has to offer on the One whose Vicar he truly is, Jesus Christ. they will be communicated in a popular, conversational and accessible manner. The Vatican Press Office indicated the book will be released by the end of the year.