Book Reviews2 Heart of the Christian Life: thoughts on Holy Mass

Pope Benedict XVI. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, March 2010. 117 pages. ISBN 978-1-58617-432-3.

This book is a compilation from various speeches, homilies, and official documents that Pope Benedict has delivered since his election in 2005 as Pope. Its primary purpose is to serve as a reflection or meditation on the Eucharist or the Mass.

Each short chapter contains a different reflection or meditation which is three to six pages long.

In each section, The Holy Father reflects on various aspects of the Eucharist. He also reflects on how the Eucharist has been instrumental in the lives of various martyrs. These martyrs, for example, often gathered for the Eucharist even when it was legally forbidden.

Another of Pope Benedict’s meditates is on the place of Mary and the Eucharist. He notes that how she was the first tabernacle.

The celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays is another topic. The Pope explains why we gather on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the center of our community life or Church life. The Eucharist is a reminder of Jesus calling Christians to follow his example to be servants and not rulers, he says.

At the end of the book, Ignatius Press has inserted the orignal sources for each of the chapters. The reader can gain more knowledge about the Eucharist from this “bibliography.” It contains the citation for the hard copy but they also reference the Internet addresses where the sources can be found.

This book is a great aid for Holy Hour devotions or other periods of Eucharistic adoration and is highly recommended to readers for that purpose.

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