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Journal of a Soul: The Autobiography of Pope John XXIII [Paperback]

Pope John XXIII
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 9 1999
No other pope of this century has aroused so much interest and universal affection throughout the world as has Pope John XXIII. Journal of a Soul is an inspiring reading experience that records this pope's thoughts and traces his spiritual development from adolescence to the seminary to a career as a priest, a European papal diplomat, Patriarch of Venice, and finally Pope John XXIII.

This Image Books edition features a biographical portrait of Pope John by his personal secretary, Monsignor Loris Capovilla. It also includes several of his most moving prayers, sixty brief thoughts and aphorisms, his "Rules for the Ascetic Life," many of his letters, even his last will and testament. Christians everywhere will welcome the reissue of "one of the most original, interesting, and inspiring revelations of intimate personal experiences ever written," which "ranks well with the classic spiritual autobiographies" (Critic).

Journal of a Soul, the first ever such work from a Roman pontiff, opens new windows onto the soul of the man himself.

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"Indispensable for those who would understand the mind which originated the updating of the Roman Catholic Church."
--The New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

"Indispensable for those who would understand the mind which originated the updating of the Roman Catholic Church."
--The New York Times Book Review

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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring For A Protestant-- Dec 1 2000
While I am not a Roman Catholic, I have always been interested in the history and politics of the Holy See and the Popes. It is fascinating that John XXIII, in his short tenure as Pope, appears today to have influenced the world of his faith more than either his predecessor, Pius (Pacelli), or his successor, Paul (Montini). These were both highly political leaders with failings common to all politicians, religious or secular.
John XXIII had no political axe to grind. By his very nature and the fact that he was expected to be a 'caretaker' he was uniquely able to bring his church into the twentieth century. Some have alleged that through his actions he may have saved the Catholic church for the twenty-first.
This is a unique book, for it demonstrates a man of humility without excessive self-righteousness. His love for God and for his fellow man are demonstrated in equal measure. As some have said of John Paul II, John XXIII 'humanized' the papacy. That he was able to do this without diminishing the authority of his office was part of his genius.
As a previous reviewer noted, I agree that John's work in areas not dominated by Roman Catholics appears to have widened his world, perhaps laying the groundwork for his later ecuminical progress.
This is a memoir that doesn't require one to be a Roman Catholic to enjoy, and to admire. Holiness through living rather than platitudes. Very highly recommended to anyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Religious change -- the genesis Nov. 26 1999
It was extremely enlightening to discover how one of the seminal religious figures of the 20th century came to be the person he was. He was, after all, installed as a "caretaker pope" at the age of 77. Instead of being a caretaker he substantially reformed the Roman Catholic Church. His journal describes how he evolved from a devout religious young man from a peasant background to a leader in the ecumenical movement. We learn how being a bishop for Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece (where there are few Roman Catholics) enlarged his view toward other traditions. Additionally we find how he was surprised when he came up with the idea of the Second Vatican Council. I found this book very uplifting. Change can happen, and can happen unexpectedly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Book June 22 2000
This is a fascinating and even inspiring glimpse into the heart and soul of a man who very seriously sought to do the will of God. It is a remarkably personal testament from somebody who rose to preside over the Church of Rome -- a document that, at least in my experience, has few modern parallels. One doesn't have to be Catholic (I'm a Mormon) to admire his integrity, to learn and profit a great deal from an outstanding man's honest struggles to discern and carry out what he regarded as divine purpose, and from the manner in which he grew over a long and notable ministry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars redundant and a bit boring Aug. 31 2001
i was looking for an inspirational work on such an inspirational figure...wasn't there. Quite repetitive and I'm afraid his spirituality was redundant, a bit boring and reflected asceticism and fear & trembling. HOWEVER, he did a great job with VII and responded nicely to the Holy Spirit. His best line that I know of is when asked: "How many people work at the Vatican?" His reply: "Oh, about half."
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