Monday, July 14, 2014

Journal of a Soul: Autobiography of Pope John XXIII

After the recent canonization of Pope John XXII, it is interesting to see into the mind of a saint. This book helps you to hear the inner thoughts of a pope. It starts with the early days in seminary and goes through 1962, the year of the Second Vatican Council. We hear often of the humbleness of Pope Francis, but he is not the first pope to be a humble servant of God. During Angelo Roncalli’s seminary days his writings are consumed with self discipline, often calling himself a sinner and pointing to where he falls short of becoming a saint. This is ironic now knowing him as St. John XXIII. His writing shows a growing maturity from his seminary days as he becomes, priest, bishop, cardinal and pope. It culminates in the beauty of his rosary meditations and prayers included at the end of the book. It follows a diary format that would lend itself to devotional time in prayer. It is harder to read straight through because you find yourself wanting to stop and contemplate his reflections. The writings of Pope John XXIII are beautiful and insightful. I would like to know more about the Second Vatican Council. This book gives very little information about the historical event and more of the thoughts of the pope in the background. I definitely recommend this book. One part that was striking was Angelo’s following of the “Little Rules” of the ascetic life as described in appendix two. This will help anyone trying to deepen their spiritual and devotional life. This gives the average layperson an idea of the devout life of a consecrated religious. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

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