Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Reflections: The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II

The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II -- The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy is George Weigel's follow up to the biography on Pope John Paul II he wrote over a decade ago; Witness to Hope.  This book is over 500 pages, but that is half the size of Witness to Hope.  I think that this was a good read, but if you have already read Witness to Hope there is not much new in this book.  This book was written because new information had been obtained since the writing of Witness to Hope in regards to the Communists attempts to bring down Pope John Paul II.  I found some of these stories very interesting.  One thing I learned is that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than most people realize.  The Pope has a very difficult and huge responsibility.  No matter how faithful a person is, someone will be quick to criticize any action or inaction even people within the Church.  Pope John Paul II is undoubtedly one of the great people of the 20th Century.  He inspired millions of people of all faiths.  This book can get a little tedious at times, and if you want a more complete biography of Pope John Paul II I would recommend that you first read Witness to Hope.  However, this book is a good supplement to Witness to Hope.  Just make sure you set aside plenty of time.  I wouldn't say it's a book you can't put down, but I would recommend to people who want to learn as much as they can about Pope John Paul II, and those who are interested in the inner workings of the Vatican.  

God Bless,


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