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While shaping the history of the Church and the world, Pope John Paul II lived his daily life among individuals who knew him closely as a spiritual father, colleague or friend. Friends who helped him, served him and closely collaborated with him to change the world. Polish journalist Wlodzimierz Redzioch, for over 30 years an employee of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, interviewed almost two dozen of them for this book, from lifelong friends who first met the Pope in Krakow (as Karol Wojtyla), to his personal physician, personal secretary, papal photographer, papal spokesman, Polish bishops, recipients of miraculous cures, members of the papal household, and Curial officials, including the German Cardinal close to the Pope who became his successor, Joseph Ratzinger. They tell inspiring and remarkable stories about Wojtyła’s courageous witness as a bishop and professor of philosophy in Communist Poland, his participation in Vatican Council II, his election to the papacy, the challenges and worldwide travels of his pontificate, the sufferings of his final years, and even the process of his beatification and canonization. A composite portrait emerges of a man of heroic faith, love and deep prayer, a decisive leader who was capable of discussing, listening and delegating, a well-rounded human being with a gift for friendship, joy and humor with an awareness that seemingly insignificant moments are also part of our personal sanctification. He succeeded in changing the world because he deeply touched and changed the hearts of countless people everywhere. In this inspiring book you will discover many previously unpublished true stories and anecdotes, stories that will move you to know the great heart with which St. John Paul II loved God and humanity.
John J. Fitzgerald addresses here one of life's enduring questions - how to achieve personal fulfillment and more specifically whether we can do so through ethical conduct. He focuses on two significant twentieth-century theologians - Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Pope John Paul II - seeing both as fitting dialogue partners, given the former's influence on the Second Vatican Council's deliberations on the Jews, and the latter's groundbreaking overtures to the Jews in the wake of his experiences in Poland before and during World War II. Fitzgerald demonstrates that Heschel and John Paul II both suggest that doing good generally leads us to growth in various components of personal fulfillment, such as happiness, meaning in life, and freedom from selfish desires. There are, however, some key differences between the two theologians - John Paul II emphasizes more strongly the relationship between acting well and attaining eternal life, whereas Heschel wrestles more openly with the possibility that religious commitment ultimately involves anxiety and sadness. By examining historical and contemporary analyses, including the work of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, the philosopher Peter Singer, and some present-day psychologists, Fitzgerald builds a narrative that shows the promise and limits of Heschel's and John Paul II's views.
In 2005, Father Julián Carrón became the leader of the global ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation, following the death of the movement's founder, Father Luigi Giussani. Disarming Beauty is the English translation of an engaging and thought-provoking collection of essays by one of the principal Catholic leaders and intellectuals in the world today. Adapted from talks given by Fr. Carrón, these essays have been thoroughly reworked by the author to offer an organic presentation of a decade-long journey. They present the content of his elaboration of the gospel message in light of the tradition of Fr. Giussani, the teachings of the popes, and the urgent needs of contemporary people. Carrón offers a broad diagnosis of challenges in society and then introduces their implications in contexts such as families, schools, workplaces, and political communities. In a dialogue with his listeners, he inspires and encourages them to lay out a new path for the Catholic church and the world. Throughout his essays, Carrón addresses the most pressing questions facing theologians today and provides insights that will interest everyone, from the most devout to the firm nonbeliever. Grappling with the interaction of Christian faith and modern culture, Carrón treats in very real and concrete ways what is essential to maintaining and developing Christian faith, and he invites an ongoing conversation about the meaning of faith, truth, and freedom.
Revelations of abuse at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay had repercussions extending beyond the worldwide media scandal that ensued. The controversy surrounding photos and descriptions of inhumane treatment of enemy prisoners of war, or EPWs, from the war on terror marked a watershed momentin the study of modern warfare and the treatment of prisoners of war. Amid allegations of human rights violations and war crimes, one question stands out among the rest: Was the treatment of America's most recent prisoners of war an isolated event or part of a troubling and complex issue that is deeply rooted in our nation's military history?Military expert Robert C. Doyle's The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror draws from diverse sources to answer this question. Historical as well as timely in its content, this work examines America's major wars and past conflicts -- among them, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam -- to provide understanding of the UnitedStates' treatment of military and civilian prisoners. The Enemy in Our Hands offers a new perspective of U.S. military history on the subject of EPWs and suggests that the tactics employed to manage prisoners of war are unique and disparate from one conflict tothe next. In addition to other vital information, Doyle provides a cultural analysis and exploration of U.S. adherence to international standards of conduct, including the 1929 Geneva Convention in each war. Although wars are not won or lost on the basis of how EPWs are treated, the treatment of prisoners is one of the measures by which history's conquerors are judged.
After purgatory was officially defined by the Catholic Church in the thirteenth century, its location became a topic of heated debate and philosophical speculation: Was purgatory located on the earth, or within it? Were its fires real or figurative? Diana Walsh Pasulka offers a groundbreaking historical exploration of spatial and material concepts of purgatory, beginning with scholastic theologians William of Auvergne and Thomas Aquinas, who wrote about the location of purgatory and questioned whether its torments were physical or solely spiritual. In the same period, writers of devotional literature located purgatory within the earth, near hell, and even in Ireland. In the early modern era, a counter-movement of theologians downplayed purgatory's spatial dimensions, preferring to depict it in abstract terms--a view strengthened during the French Enlightenment, when references to purgatory as a terrestrial location or a place of real fire were ridiculed by anti-Catholic polemicists and discouraged by the Church. The debate surrounding purgatory's materiality has never ended: even today members of post-millennial ''purgatory apostolates'' maintain that purgatory is an actual, physical place. Heaven Can Wait provides crucial insight into the theological problem of purgatory's materiality (or lack thereof) over the past seven hundred years.
A study on the influence which the German novelist Jean Paul Friedrich Richter had upon Robert Schumann's music.

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