Friday, February 7, 2014

Open Mind, Faithful Heart (Crossroad Publishing)

Before I even read Open Mind, Faithful Heart, I was reading endorsements about this book.  Some billed it as a book that would reveal the secrets and future of the papacy under Pope Francis. However, after reading the book, I would say that is not the case at all. Instead, you will find Ignatian-inspired spiritual reflections, which hopefully help the reader learn how to grow nearer to Jesus.

Part One is appropriately titled "Encountering Jesus." In this section, we see various passages of the Gospels in which Jesus was speaking directly to people. In addition to passages where he addresses his disciples, there are also passages where he addresses Pharisees and Sadducees. I was glad he included those latter passages, as I was able to see how sometimes I too can act like a Pharisee. Part Two's focus is divine revelation and the history of salvation. In this part, we see reflections that deal with Christ coming to save us, man's rejection of Him, and the role of the Church after Christ's Resurrection and Ascension.

Part Three was easily my favorite part as it discussed the Book of Revelation, primarily the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches found in Revelation 2 and 3. Though these letters were written by St. John to seven specific churches in his time, they also contain relevant messages to the Church in our time. Part Four is the longest section in this book as it touches on human prayer. In this section, we are provided with glimpses of Biblical figures, like Moses and Job, as it relates to prayer. Lastly, we are provided with the ultimate example of prayer in Jesus.

This book is an enlightening and refreshing read. Not all passages are easily read by your average laymen. Some are very theological and geared specifically at priests. However, each one is beautiful and shows us the thoughts of a man who loves Jesus and His Church. Though it does not contain any biographical information on our current pope, it does give us a personal glimpse into his brilliant mind and loving heart. If you love Jesus and want to follow Him more closely, this book is for you.

This book was provided to me for free by Crossroad Publishing. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!