Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed June 28, 2008 to June 29, 2009 to be the Jubilee Year of Saint Paul, commemorating his 2,000th birthday. The celebration has been low-key, except for in Rome and especially at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, where St. Paulís body is buried. For those elsewhere who would like to observe the jubilee, this small book can help. It contains short quotes from Pope Benedict selected from his writings, addresses, homilies and other sources since he became pontiff.
A previous book on spiritual thoughts about his first year as Pope, Pope Benedict XVI: Spiritual Thoughts, is also part of the Spiritual Thoughts Series published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing. Upcoming volumes in the series will concern Mary and the saints. This particular book on St. Paul is prefaced by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vaticanís Secretary of State, who ranks just below the Pope in the Church hierarchy. With an introduction by Fr. Edmund Caruana, O.Carm, this an English translation of the Libreria Editrice Vaticanaís edition. Eight sections are followed by an index.
The 159 numbered quotes from the Pope are short, usually only a few sentences, and cover the apostolic vocation of St. Paul, St. Paulís encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, St. Paul and the Holy Spirit, the Christian experience as St. Paul saw it, the Church of God, the Sacraments, and prayer. The Pope quotes often from the letters of St. Paul. Each is followed by a citation as to where the quote came from and when.
General and more sophisticated readers can use these quotes for retreats or as starting points for meditation or reflection. One can look up the scripture that the pope discusses and expand upon what he is writing about. At the end of each chapter, space is provided for note-taking. This small book is highly recommended to those looking for a low-key way to observe the Jubilee of St. Paul or who just want a collection of quotes from Pope Benedict on St. Paul.