For Cardinal Francis George, the Catholic Church is not a movement, built around ideas, but a communion, built around relationships. In A Godly Humanism, he shares his understanding of the Church in lively, compelling prose, presenting a way to understand and appreciate the relationships of God to human beings and of human beings to one another. These loving relationships are continually made present to us in and through the Church, from the time of Jesus' first disciples down to our own day. We are introduced to how the spiritual and intellectual life of Christians, aided in every generation by the Holy Spirit working through the Apostles and their successors, resist the danger of splitting apart from one another. Though they take different outward forms at different times, both wisdom and holiness are made possible for every Christian of every station of life. Sign-posting his conversation by the milestones of his own spiritual and intellectual journey, Cardinal George invites us to view the Church and her history in ways that go beyond the categories of politicsthrough which we find merely human initiative, contrivance, and adjustmentand rather to see the initiative as God's first and foremost. God is the non-stop giver, we are non-stop recipients of his gifts, and the recent popes, no less than the Father of the Church, have made every effort to make us aware of the graces that is, of the unearned benefitsthat God confers on us as Catholics, as Christians, as believers, and simply as human persons. Pope Francis, he reminds us, contrasts human planning with God's providence, and this book is at once an exposition of that providence and a personal response of gratitude for the way it has operated in one man's life.
This persuasive book, imbued with the thoughts of profound thinkers from the Ancient world, from St. Augustine and other Church fathers, and steeped in the wisdom of church teaching from earliest times through to the Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis, invites and persuades the reader to reimagine the church as communion and the life of faith that we live as part of it.