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Gift and Mystery Hardcover – 13 Mar 1997

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Amazon.com: 16 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A Loving Gift to Priests and Seminarians 8 Aug 2001
By Xavier Thelakkatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
'Gift and Mystery' is indeed an affectionate gift from Pope John Paul II to all those who pursue a priestly vocation. It is the story of his own priestly call which is a Divine gift as well as a great mystery. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his priestly ordination, the Pope reflects on his own growth in his vocation to priesthood and his ministry as 'a shepherd of God's mysteries'. We follow him through his college studies, his job in the stone quarry, his love for the theater and his theological studies to his ordination to priesthood. His deep faith and reliance on God, his gratefulness and kindness towards others, his devotion and dedication to the priestly commitment are all laid out before us with clarity and love. As he himself says, what is related here belongs to his "deepest being" and "innermost experience". Every priest and seminarian should read this and draw energy and inspiration from this 'Holy Father' and spiritual giant of our day.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
an eloquent thank you note 13 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
The image of JPII is so prevalent in this world that he, like Mao or the Statue of Liberty, would be ever in danger of becoming a hollow icon. But it is JP's expressions of both his humanity and his humility, in works such as this book, that saves this man from becoming a mere all-pervasive image. Reading this book is like taking Communion with him. Filled with precise recollections of special people and places, we see how JP was affected by Krakow and the war, and begin to see what might be a very modern, human expression of "survivor's guilt" emerge in him in the postwar years. We also see special glimpses of the manifestations of his faith in the course of simple acknowledgements. We learn from whom he learned his famous "ground-kissing" gesture, for which he has become especially known. We read of how important it was for him to say his first Mass in a place filled with historical significance for Poland. We learn of a wild, mysterious man of 19th century Poland and JPII's great respect for him. He is gracious and generous in his acknowledgements to everyone who has helped to set him on his path to a priestly vocation. An unusual but very touching addition to this book is the appended Litany of Jesus Christ, Priest & Victim. It is a Litany with which I was not familiar, but which seems especially appropriate for the incantations of 20th century priests of Poland. Catholicism is universal, but JPII always finds a way to make it an individual, internalized spirituality, and then takes the astounding creation of the individual being and renders it once again meek before God. JP walks a path that celebrates the unbelievably good grace God has given to us in life and the unattainable degree of thanks we should return to God and Christ in return for the favor of living.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Should your son be a priest? 20 Dec 2001
By Frederick A. Costello - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As you might expect from such a great person, the Pope's book provides few insights into the Pope himself. He does show how our own lives can influence others, especially in a cumulative way, as the he tells of all of those who influenced his entering the priesthood. He cites the religiosity of his father; the holiness of Jan Tyranowski; the writings of St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Louis Marie de Montfort; the devotions in his parish, to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and of the brown scapular. The reader can't help but wonder if there is a link between the lack of devotions today and the lack of vocations today.
A priest's life is challenging. He must be attentive and sympathetic; critical and watchful with regard to historical developments; a giver of Christ; a spiritual father -- especially in the Confessional; holy; constantly training, studying and updating; promoting the family; defending mankind; in dialog with the youth; in dialog with the culture; intellectual and scholarly; and living the Gospel.
But a priest's life is most rewarding. The priest is "a steward of the mysteries of God." An essential part of his mission is fulfilled in the Confessional. The priest is an essential being in the only suitable offering that man can make to God, the offering of God-made-man, an offering made at every Mass. The priest is so united to Christ at Mass that he is "in the person of Christ." What a beautiful reflection on the Mass is offered by the Pope!
The challenge of the priesthood seems overwhelming. It would be without God. It is "a mystery of divine election."
Every parent of a potential priest should read this book.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Life 14 April 2000
By Stephen M. Siptroth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Pope John Paul II examines the course of his life from a war-torn Poland, to the halls of The Vatican. At the end of the book, the reader is sure to realize that most of the time, the greatest gifts in our lives start off as mysteries. We start off in the fog, and as we live, we begin to see the path unfold in front of us.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great book from a very holy man 2 Dec 2000
By Adam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This vocation story of Pope John Paul II is a truly inspiring tale of how he came to his decision of answering his vocation to the Priesthood. He shares how the different factors of his life and different people in his life helped prepare him for the Priesthood, and benefit his spiritual life. This is a great book for those, such as myself, who aspire the Priesthood.
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