Monday, September 5, 2016

Pope Francis Speaks to the United States and Cuba (Our Sunday Visitor)

It has been almost one year since Pope Francis visited the United States and Cuba. Many people, myself included, wanted to go, but simply could not. Instead, we had to rely on media coverage, which wasn't always the best, unless you watched directly through EWTN. Thankfully, Our Sunday Visitor published a book entitled Pope Francis Speaks to the United States and Cuba. There are thirty-one sections in this book and they make up categories like transcripts of press conferences, addresses, meetings, homilies, etc. that he gave during his visit.

Pope Francis has made it his hallmark to speak off the cuff, and that was no different in his visit. One of the best talks he gave was given to priests, religious, and seminarians. In this talk, he spoke about "leaving everything to follow Jesus." Pope Francis also encouraged them to embrace poverty and detachment, like St. Ignatius did. Another unprepared talk was given to a group of students. Here, he talked about opening your heart and mind to people who are different than you. He encourages them to build social friendships with those who are different than them, and not just live in an isolated world where you are only friends with people exactly like you.

There are many books currently out, which tell us about Pope Francis and might even contain sound bytes of his words. It seems, however, that these books outnumber those which contain his actual words in full context. Is is for that reason that I am always pleased to receive books like Pope Francis Speaks to the United States and Cuba. Here we get the words of Pope Francis straight from the pontiff's mouth. It is then our choice with what to do with these words - accept them, reject them, or ignore them. So I encourage you to read this book and others like it, and don't just listen to what others (particularly the media) is telling us what Pope Francis says or believes.

This book was provided to me for free by Our Sunday Visitor in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!