| God's Revolution: World Youth Day and Other Cologne Talks |
Ignatius Press (February 2006).
The theme of the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany August 2005 was "We Have Come to Worship Him." Throughout these talks and encounters with the youth, Benedict reinforced the meaning of this theme by leading us to adore the Child who is God, whose love renews and transforms the whole world. Radiating from this book, as from World Youth Day, is a sheer joy over the beauty of faith, the beauty of Christ and of our life in Christ. Reading this book reinforces the conviction that, in the person of Pope Benedict XVI, God has given the Church a great Teacher of the faith, and also a great Pastor who knows the way that can lead us to intimacy with God. His special charism seems to be his ability to combine universal openness with Catholic identity, clear and comprehensive witness to the truth of Christ with the gentleness of fraternal charity.
| Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season |
The Crossroad Publishing Company, Inc. (Reprint Edition. February 2006).
Pope Benedict XVI offers us a great Lenten blessing in Journey to Easter. This book is rich meditation on the meaning of Lent, the significance of the birth and death of Jesus Christ, and the meaning of Jesus in the life of Christians everywhere.
| Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures |
Ignatius Press (February 2006)
Written by Joseph Ratzinger shortly before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures looks at the growing conflict of cultures evident in the Western world.Excerpts
The West faces a deadly contradiction of its own making, he contends. Terrorism is on the rise. Technological advances of the West, employed by people who have cut themselves off from the moral wisdom of the past, threaten to abolish man (as C.S. Lewis put it)—whether through genetic manipulation or physical annihilation.
In short, the West is at war—with itself. Its scientific outlook has brought material progress. The Enlightenment’s appeal to reason has achieved a measure of freedom. But contrary to what many people suppose, both of these accomplishments depend on Judeo-Christian foundations, including the moral worldview that created Western culture.
More than anything else, argues Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, the important contributions of the West are threatened today by an exaggerated scientific outlook and by moral relativism—what Benedict XVI calls "the dictatorship of relativism"—in the name of freedom.
Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures is no mere tirade against the moral decline of the West. Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI challenges the West to return to its roots by finding a place for God in modern culture. He argues that both Christian culture and the Enlightenment formed the West, and that both hold the keys to human life and freedom as well as to domination and destruction.
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI challenges non-believer and believer alike. "Both parties," he writes, "must reflect on their own selves and be ready to accept correction." He challenges secularized, unbelieving people to open themselves to God as the ground of true rationality and freedom. He calls on believers to "make God credible in this world by means of the enlightened faith they live."