A Big Heart Open to God: A Conversation with Pope Francis [NOOK Book]

Overview

The world was shocked when Jesuit magazines across the globe simultaneously released an exclusive interview with Pope Francis, just six months into his historic papacy. Within minutes of its release, the interview dominated the worldwide media. In a wide-ranging conversation, Pope Francis spoke movingly about his spiritual life, his hopes for church reform, his open-minded stance toward gays and lesbians, his views on women, and even his favorite movies.

America magazine, where ...

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A Big Heart Open to God: A Conversation with Pope Francis

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Overview

The world was shocked when Jesuit magazines across the globe simultaneously released an exclusive interview with Pope Francis, just six months into his historic papacy. Within minutes of its release, the interview dominated the worldwide media. In a wide-ranging conversation, Pope Francis spoke movingly about his spiritual life, his hopes for church reform, his open-minded stance toward gays and lesbians, his views on women, and even his favorite movies.

America magazine, where the idea for the interview originated, commissioned a team of five Italian-language experts to ensure that the pope's words were transmitted accurately into English. Now this remarkable, historic, and moving interview is available in book form.

In addition to the full papal interview conducted by Antonio Spadaro, SJ, on behalf of the Jesuit journals, A Big Heart Open to God includes an introduction by the editor in chief of America, Matt Malone, SJ, describing the genesis of the interview, a series of responses by a diverse range of Catholic voices, and a spiritual refection on the interview by James Martin, SJ, author of Te Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. In his refection, Father Martin helps readers use the pope's powerful comments as a foundation for personal prayer.

In this historic interview, Pope Francis's vision for the church and humanity itself is delivered through a warm and intimate conversation, and he shows us all how to have a big heart open to God.

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  • A Big Heart Open to God
    A Big Heart Open to God  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062333780
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/10/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 25,290
  • File size: 233 KB

Read an Excerpt

A Big Heart Open to God


By

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 The Catholic Church
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-233377-3


Introduction
IT IS MONDAY, August 19, 2013. I have an ap-
pointment with Pope Francis at 10 a.m. in Santa
Marta. I, however, inherited from my father the
habit of arriving early for everything. The people
who welcome me tell me to make myself comfort-
able in one of the parlors. I do not have to wait for
long, and after a few minutes I am brought over to
the lift. This short wait gave me the opportunity
to remember the meeting in Lisbon of the editors
of a number of journals of the Society of Jesus, at
which the proposal emerged to publish jointly an
interview with the pope. I had a discussion with
the other editors, during which we proposed some
questions that would express everyone's interests.
I emerge from the lift, and I see the pope already
waiting for me at the door. In meeting him here, I
had the pleasant impression that I was not crossing
any threshold.
I enter his room, and the pope invites me to sit
in his easy chair. He himself sits on a chair that is
higher and stiffer because of his back problems.
The setting is simple, austere. The workspace oc-

4 POPE FRANCIS
cupied by the desk is small. I am impressed not
only by the simplicity of the furniture, but also
by the objects in the room. There are only a few.
These include an icon of St. Francis, a statue of
Our Lady of Luján (patron saint of Argentina), a
crucifix, and a statue of St. Joseph sleeping, very
similar to the one which I had seen in his office
at the Colegio MÃximo de San Miguel, where he
was rector and also provincial superior. The spiri-
tuality of Jorge Mario Bergoglio is not made of
“harmonized energies,” as he would call them,
but of human faces: Christ, St. Francis, St. Jo-
seph, and Mary.
The pope welcomes me with that smile that has
already traveled all around the world, that same
smile that opens hearts. We begin speaking about
many things, but above all about his trip to Brazil.
The pope considers it a true grace.
I ask him if he has had time to rest. He tells me
that yes, he is doing well, but above all that World
Youth Day was for him a “mystery.” He says that he
is not used to talking to so many people: “I man-
age to look at individual persons, one at a time, to
enter into personal contact with whomever I have
in front of me. I'm not used to the masses.”
I tell him that it is true, that people notice it, and
that it makes a big impression on everyone. You can
tell that whenever he is among a crowd of people his
eyes actually rest on individual persons. Then the

A Big Heart Open to God 5
television cameras project the images, and everyone
can see them. This way he can feel free to remain
in direct contact, at least with his eyes, with the in-
dividuals he has in front of him. To me, he seems
happy about this: that he can be who he is, that
he does not have to alter his ordinary way of com-
municating with others, even when he is in front
of millions of people, as happened on the beach at
Copacabana.
Before I switch on the voice recorder we also
talk about other things. Commenting on one of
my own publications, he tells me that the two con-
temporary French thinkers that he holds dear are
Henri de Lubac, SJ, and Michel de Certeau, SJ. I
also speak to him about more personal matters. He
too speaks to me on a personal level, in particu-
lar about his election to the pontificate. He tells
me that when he began to realize that he might be
elected, on Wednesday, March 13, during lunch,
he felt a deep and inexplicable peace and interior
consolation come over him along with a great dark-
ness, a deep obscurity about everything else. And
those feelings accompanied him until his election
later that day.
Actually I would have liked to continue speak-
ing with him in this very personal manner for
much longer, but I take up my papers filled with
questions that I had written down before, and I
turn on the voice recorder. First of all I thank him

6 POPE FRANCIS
on behalf of all the editors of the various Jesuit
magazines that will publish this interview.
Just a bit before the audience that the pope
granted on June 14 to the Jesuits of La Civiltà Cat-
tolica, the pope had spoken to me about his great
difficulty in giving interviews. He had told me that
he prefers to think carefully rather than give quick
responses to on-the-spot interviews. He feels that
the right answers come to him after having already
given his initial response. “I did not recognize my-
self when I responded to the journalists asking me
questions on the return flight from Rio de Janeiro,”
he tells me. But it is true: many times in this in-
terview the pope interrupted what he was saying
in response to a question several times in order to
add something to an earlier response. Talking with
Pope Francis is a kind of volcanic flow of ideas that
are bound up with each other. Even taking notes
gives me an uncomfortable feeling, as if I were try-
ing to suppress a surging spring of dialogue. It is
clear that Pope Francis is more used to having con-
versations than to giving lectures.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Big Heart Open to God by . Copyright © 2013 The Catholic Church. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2014

    Very inspiring book!

    My respect for our pope has been constant and this book just reinforced my opinion. He is truly a good man and also a humble one which I find to be an endearing quality in a pope. I am glad that I read this book about his true feelings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Highly recommended - most enjoyable!

    An easy to read book that is very enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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