This book examines the central elements of Pope Francis’ vision of the Church as it sets out to preach the gospel to people of every nation and every walk of life. In four chapters, it examines the heart of his message and the focus of his vision for the future of Catholicism, Christianity, and the world. Central to that vision is his call to continue the new evangelization.
He writes: “Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society” (EG 187). The pope admits that neither he nor the Church has “a monopoly on the interpretation of social realities or the proposal of solutions to contemporary problems” (EG 184). He wishes, however, to contribute some constructive insights concerning our present situation.
For Pope Francis, the joy of the gospel is simple: God wishes to live in our hearts. When we let God do so his Spirit dwells there, purging our imperfections and slowly divinizing us so that as free and faithful disciples we follow the way of the Lord Jesus.
“An 80-plus-page book by Fr Dennis Billy examines the central elements of Pope Francis’ vision of the Church as set out in his “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) which he promulgated in November 2013, less than a year after his election. Gospel Joy – “Pope Francis and the New Evangelization” contains four chapters: Changing Focus, Today’s Challenges, the New Evangelization and A Work of the Spirit, with each one introduced by an extract from Evangelii Gaudium. Leading into chapter two, for example, we read: “… the Gospel tells us constantly to risk a face-to-face encounter with others … True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.” No denominational clash of views there!”
Books in Brief
Methodist Recorder, Jan. 16, 2015
“This short and very readable book gives an excellent summary and commentary on the present Pope’s recent document, Gospel of Joy. I was particularly impressed by his comments on the Church as communion, based on our innate social nature. In a period when parishes are closing and combining, the need for priests and laity to recognize our basic unity in the body of Christ is essential. I recommend this book to everyone.”
Msgr. Charles Quinn
Hyde Park, New York
“Fr. Billy gives us a very useful tool to help understand the thinking of Pope Francis. This very readable work would be an excellent selection for a Book Club or other group, which could spend four sessions utilizing the insightful questions he places at the end of each chapter.”
Rev. Steven B Giuliano
Pastor, New Castle, Delaware
About the Author
Author of numerous books and articles, Redemptorist Father Dennis Billy holds a Th.D. in Church History from Harvard Divinity School and a S.T.D. in spirituality from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. He holds the John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and also serves as Karl Rahner Professor of Catholic Theology at the Graduate Theological Foundation.
|Publication Date||Jun 30, 2014|
|Author||Dennis J. Billy, CSsR|