And suddenly a great silence envelops the crowd as the successor to Benedict XVI is announced....
Astonishment: Who is it? Where is he from? The commentators are stunned, tongue-tied. Then,upon hearing his first words, the crowd stirs, followed by ripples and then waves of enthusiasm-what freshness, what inspiration, what beautiful Gospel simplicity!
"Called from the end of the world," is he the shepherd who will lead the Church, confronted by the challenges of the postmodern world, along the pathway to renewal? Already his humble witness has made a powerful impact, giving us a glimpse of what is essential about him.... But deep down, who is this man? What does he think? Toward what shores will he steer the barque of Peter?
In this book, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio answers these questions himself as he preaches a retreat to the bishops of Spain. Following the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, he meditates upon the crucial issues at stake in the vocation of a bishop. In so doing, he offers us his vision of the Church, setting forth the outlines of what could well be the reform program of Pope Francis.
It is a rich, captivating text with a strong, uncompromising message. In short, it's a spiritual page turner you won't want to put down!
An excerpt from In Him Alone Is Our Hope by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio:
"The Lord sends us into spiritual combat. It is a fight to the death that he himself has undertaken, and one that we too are invited to identify as our own ultimate battleground, conscious that it is God's war. For it is a war waged ‘against the enemy of human nature,' that is, in the language of Saint Ignatius, the devil. It is also the war waged by ‘the friend of human nature,' the Lord Jesus, who wants to win us for God and to gather up into himself all that is good in creation in order to offer it to the Father, to the praise of his glory.
What is at stake in this war? It is whether in my heart, as well as in the heart of the Church and of humanity itself, the Kingdom of Heaven will be established, with his law of love and the Lord's way of life: poverty, humility, and service. Or whether the kingdom of this world will triumph, with its laws and values of wealth, vanity, and pride."