Noticing how often the new Pope had the topic of "joy" as the central theme of his many addresses, Murphy delved into the vast writings of the Pope, before and after his election to the papacy, and found that the theme of joy has pervaded all of his theology. Recognizing the Pope's invitation to joy as a key to understanding his basic theological vision, Murphy develops those ideas and writings in a creative way, and helps the reader to engage personally with the original and pastoral mind of Joseph Ratzinger, professor, pastor, and now Pope Benedict XVI.
This joy is nothing other than the joy of the Christian faith. Indeed, the "first word of the New Testament," says Pope Benedict XVI, "is an invitation to joy." The Gospel of Jesus Christ, he insists, is not a burdensome imposition but is truly "glad tidings" for mankind. Christianity is the key to true and lasting joy, the only joy that abides in the midst of life's anxieties and difficulties.
Written in a clear and engaging style, this book argues that joy is central to all of Pope Benedict's thought. All the other great themes of the Christian faith are intimately connected with it and radiate out from it. The world is in need of hearing once again the message of joy which Jesus Christ makes known.
For priests, religious and laity who are concerned with presenting the Christian message in a positive, attractive and convincing way, as well as for all who wish to delve into the rich and exciting thought of Pope Benedict XVI, one of the most inspiring Christian thinkers of recent decades, this timely book will provide insight for personal reflection, preaching and teaching.