Book Reviews
God is Near Us: The Eucharist the
Heart of Life.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Ignatius Press, 2003.
Mark Merlino - Home page

"God is Near Us- The Eucharist the Heart of Life" is a collection of numerous homilies given by Pope Benedict XVI
when he was archbishop of Freising and Munich. The separate entries contained within this remarkable book address
various questions, issues and problems related to the origin, practice and meaning of the Eucharist in the life of
Christians. The issues covered include, the birth of Christ, Easter, the Mass, Eucharistic adoration, the feast of
Corpus Christi, communion, the liturgy and eternal life.

The understanding and insight demonstrated by this book is truly remarkable. With casual ease, Pope Benedict
explains the Biblical and historical contexts and origins of Christian practices and doctrines. Beyond this, this book
aims to identify and answer the most pressing contemporary concerns that people have about the Eucharist, the
liturgy, God, and the idea of an afterlife. Pope Benedict is not afraid to address very difficult religious and theological
questions. But, as the Pope says in his own words (p.149-150) this book is intended to teach the faith and encourage
reflection on one's own personal faith rather than be a scholarly treatment of the subjects.

If you are interested in a highly readable book about Catholic beliefs, written by a learned and respected author, then
this book is for you. As well, if you are curious to know why Joseph Ratzinger was chosen to be Pope, read this
book and learn how capable he is. All in all, one of the best books I have read.
SEE Book on Publishers Website