“There is a charm and a charism to Pope Francis. His words have a way of captivating the reader. Like all good pastors, he points to Jesus. Prepare now to join Pope Francis on this walk along ‘the Way.’” —From the Foreword by ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH E. KURTZ Ask someone for a definition of Christianity and you are likely to hear a philosophical, historical, or even cultural description of it. But any explanation of the Christian faith that fails to define it as a way of being, of proceeding, is missing the mark. For at its core, Christianity is about living—and loving—as committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
Embracing the Way of Jesus is a beautifully curated collection of excerpts from the homilies and writings of Pope Francis, all centering on Christianity as a way of life—or, as the earliest Christians would have understood it, “the Way.” Through the Pope’s meditations on Scripture, we pause to consider essential aspects of discipleship such as The Way of the Cross, The Way of Prayer, The Way of Children, The Way of the Poor, and more. The book even offers a rare opportunity to see more clearly the path of discipleship through the lens of the Old Testament.
For anyone desiring to live out the faith in a way that can truly transform and heal our hearts and our world, Embracing the Way of Jesus is the perfect place to start.
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About the Author
JIM CAMPBELL is the general editor of the Harper’s New American Bible Study Program. He is also a father of two, grandfather of six, religious educator, and author. He is the author of The Stories of the Old Testament and the coauthor of the Finding God religious education program, both published by Loyola Press. Jim is the staff theologian at Loyola Press.
POPE FRANCIS was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a young man, he worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before entering the Jesuits. He was ordained a priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979, was Argentina's Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was appointed a Cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, Bergoglio was named his successor on 13 March. He chose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European Pope in over 1200 years. Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths.
JAMES P. CAMPBELL, D.MIN., father of two children and grandfather of six, is a religious educator and author. He is the coauthor of the Finding God religious education program and has three post-graduate degrees, including masters degrees in theology and history and a doctorate in Ministry in Christian Education from the Aquinas Institute of Theology. He lives in Rockford, IL, with his wife Barbara.
Table of Contents
1 The Way of Discipleship 1
2 The Holy Spirit Leads Us on the Way 9
3 The Old Testament Way 17
4 The Way of the Cross 25
5 The Way of Christian Worship 33
6 The Way of Prayer 45
7 The Way of Human Dignity 49
8 The Way of the Poor 57
9 The Environmental Way 65
10 The Way of Families 73
11 The Way of Children 81
12 Mary: Mother and Companion on the Way 89
About the Editor and Compiler 111