Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review: The Spirit of St. Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

Edited by Alicia Von Stamwitz
Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 2015

Since becoming Pope on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis has taken the world and the Church by storm. He took Francis as his name and "his optimism, courage, and playful sense of humor are reminiscent of the beloved saint." In "The Spirit of St. Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis," editor Alicia Von Stamwitz has collected a quotable collection of Pope Francis' teachings.

Cognizant that the Pope's words have occasionally been taken out of context, Von Stamwitz emphasizes that these quotations "have been selected and arranged with care. They are taken directly from the official Vatican texts of Pope Francis's homilies, speeches, tweets, audiences, prayers, daily meditations, and writings."

The quotations are organized into themes: the love of God, God's forgiveness, God's mercy, prayer, joy, humility, the poor, preaching the Gospel, promoting peace and pardon, and protecting creation. This book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but rather to be opened to a certain section to read a quote or two, and then to reflect upon that quote. It would be a perfect book to have on a nightstand to assist with morning or evening prayer.

Like St. Francis, Pope Francis offers so much food for thought in both his words and his deeds. "The Spirit of Saint Francis" is a wonderful compilation of his most memorable quotes to date.

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