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God is Near Us: The Eucharist, The Heart of Life [Paperback]

Joseph Ratzinger
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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God is Near Us: The Eucharist, The Heart of Life + The Joy of Knowing Christ: Meditations on the Gospels
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 1st Edition edition (Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898709628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898709629
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 385,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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"By the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became Man" Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paschal mystery 4 May 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Cardinal Ratzinger, the new Pope Benedict XVI, is a man whose devotion and spirituality is definitively focused upon the Eucharist. In this text, 'Gott ist uns nah: Euchariste: Mitte des Lebens', Ratzinger provides a series of essays reflecting on the importance, the mystery, and the spiritual aspects of the Eucharistic feast.
'God is with us and God is among us' is the title of the first essay, and sets the tone for Ratzinger's devotion in this regard. God in Jesus Christ took on human form to become for us a way and a light, and this same presence is available to us, not just on Sunday mornings and other times when we are in church, but throughout all our lives, according to Ratzinger. Church must mean more than simply that which happens in lofty and grand buildings a short while on a weekly basis - just as the Eucharist provides an Incarnational way for us to be in relationship with God, so too must we strive for ways to connecting our church life (ethically, spiritually, and practically) in our daily life and work.
Ratzinger shows his education and breadth of knowledge on these theological matters by drawing on sermons and essays he's written in the past, as well as reflections on biblical texts, from the Torah to the Epistles to the Acts of the Apostles as lead inspirations, and further into the heart of the gospel itself, reflected through the Paschal mystery.
Like his predecessor Pope John Paul II, Ratzinger also has a significant strand of Marian devotion - again, his first essay draws upon the incarnation as Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. 'She has an indisputable place in our belief in the living and acting God.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Aquinas
CS Lewis said that one should read a classic 20 or 30 times. Now, whilst this book is not a classic it is nonetheless excellent and what I discovered after reading it again recently after a 4 year gap was that I had forgotten most of it. So, it seems to me to emphasise the importance of retaining and re-reading good books.
Anyway, this book is made of a number of lectures and homilies given by Joseph Ratzinger on the Eucharist. Like all books of this nature, it does not have the kind of organic unity one finds in a purpose written book. Inevitably that means one finds some sections better than others. I found the chapter entitled: "The presence of the Lord in the Sacrament" to be particularly valuable and I found the chapter "standing before the Lord- walking with the Lord - kneeling with the Lord" very moving.

Those who are familiar with Ratzinger's work including his work as Pope Benedict XVI will notice common themes. For example the chapter "My joy is to be in thy presence" on eschatology anticipates some of the themes which appear in Benedict XVI's excellent encyclical "Spe Salvi". There seems also to be some development of the thought in his book on Eschatology.

But, most of all one finds in this book as in all Ratzinger books is that lovely combination of heart and mind. Ratzinger is more like the medieval theologian who believes that his first call is to be a saint.

But let me relay why I thought this is valuable book.

The Eucharist and death

In the Chapter "The wellspring of life", Ratzinger brings to our attention the connection between the Eucharist and death:

"The Eucharist is far more than just a meal. It has cost a death to provide it and the majesty of death is present in it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Jun 2014
By lumen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every detail one wants to know from the brilliant mind of Joseph Ratzinger
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars follow up 21 Oct 2011
By lisa
I am happy with the service provided. They followed up my previous review and made sure
that I was satisfy with their service. Much appreciated. Reliable seller. Thanks!:D
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Ritual 6 July 2010
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this book, the current Pope expounds upon the nature of and the importance of the Eucharist ,which he believes is the heart of Christian life. He sees it as a mysterious phenomenon whereby Jesus is transformed into bread and wine , which ,once consumed by the communicant, unites that person with Christ. I bought the book seeking more enlightenment about this ritual having participated in the Eucharist myself for several months. Something mysterious and profound does indeed take place during Communion ; I get a feeling of peace , cleansing and oneness and the sense that something supernatural has taken place. It is the main reason why I bother going to church. This book provided me with a little more information about the phenomenon, although there is a lot of waffle in it to be honest. I guess what happens in the Eucharist is a bit of a mystery really ; does Jesus really transform himself into bread and wine , or is there some other supernatural force at work here ? I would like to believe that it is the former , but having just read the Old Testament from cover to cover and having found precious little in it prophesying the coming of Christ , I'm beginning to have some doubts.
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