cover image I Believe

I Believe

Pope Francis. Orbis, $20 (192p) ISBN 978-1-62698-188-1

Eschewing the common tactic in celebrity memoirs of focusing heavily on personality and status, Francis's (Praise Be to You) entirely humble, entirely Christ-centered text is a refreshing look at the mental inner workings of the world's most influential Catholic. Rarely speaking about himself or his role as an emissary for universal geopolitical concerns, the pope instead compiles excerpts of his homilies and writings, along with snippets of his dialogues with unbelievers, that clearly express his theology of peace, mercy, love, humility, and acceptance with concern for compassion and respect for the least among us. Though necessarily Roman Catholic and arranged to illuminate the lines of the Apostle's Creed, the book's appeal is as broad as the pope's fan base, reaching out to Catholics, other Christians, seekers, and non-believers alike. Francis writes that anybody who is "sincerely open to love [is] already... on the path leading to faith" and that anybody serving others already reveals the light of God. Francis writes in simple, gentle prose, and the study questions interspersed through the text are short, to the point, and thoughtful. This inspiring book would make an excellent group study for Christians and seekers of all persuasions. (Oct.)