About the Book:
In this encouraging book, Pope Francis explores the meaning of true joy and offers an inspiring message: even in dark times, the light of hope can shine bright. The past few years have been extremely challenging, but even in dark times, the light of joy can shine bright.
True joy, says Pope Francis, is not a fleeting sentiment or a short-term solution to suffering; it springs from a solid hope that nothing and no one can take away.
A Gift of Joy and Hope is an invitation to embrace authentic beauty and a reminder to be open to encountering God, even in the midst of challenges. In this inspiring collection, Pope Francis encourages readers to change attitudes that exclude others; to reveal the deep dissatisfaction we all hide; and to overcome life’s challenges with courage and faith. He also challenges readers to hope without pessimism or doubt, to hope even in the midst of anxiety, to recognize the beauty all around us, and to let God show us how to deal with your doubts and fears.
I am not a Roman Catholic yet I like this collection of encouraging and wise thoughts from the head of that church. Pope Francis shares wisdom from his life experiences, from the Bible, and from other spiritual disciplines. I appreciate the many biblical stories he uses as illustrations in this book.
Some of his comments were quite thought provoking. He writes of the burden of not being welcomed with a smile, something I'll remember the next time I encounter a stranger. In another passage, he asks whether we look down upon a person to show them contempt or to give them a hand to help them up. If we want to be free of sadness, he writes, serve another.
I have read scores of books on biblical interpretation yet Pope Francis surprised me with an insight on 1 Timothy 6:17. I had always thought the end of this verse meant that God has given us everything for our own enjoyment. You know, food, books, wine. We are to enjoy it all. But Pope Francis revealed a new idea to me. “God 'gives us richly all that we need for our happiness'...” (1035/2118) I have no excuse for not being happy with what God has given me. And I like his comments on Christian hope. It is not hoping something will happen but rather “expecting something that has already taken place.” (479/2118)
This is a good collection of encouraging thoughts and teachings on Christian living.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)