The Family is Good News: Selections from Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love)
by Pope Francis, prepared for the Council for Marriage and the Family of the Irish Episcopal Conference
The Beatitudes of Pope Francis: A Manifesto for the Modern Christian
by Aidan Donaldson (Veritas, €7.99)
These two books inspired by Pope Francis provide the ordinary reader with an epitome of his views as they affect us all, both at home and in our interactions with the society around us and the wider world.
They place the modern Christian in touch with the sources of the beliefs he has which lie in the ‘Good News’ of the gospels, and especially in the Sermons on the Mount. What these books contain, together with the commentary by Dr Aidan Donaldson, is not a ‘new agenda’.
It’s a reminder that the true agenda for us all, as human beings, lies not in the layers of controversy and commentary over the centuries, but essentially in the words of Jesus himself. So in a paradoxical way though Pope Francis is seen by some as overthrowing ‘traditions’, he is in fact reminding us all of what actually forms the core of what used to be called ‘the deposit of Faith’.
One of our troubles is that people fear what they see as change, often not realising that change and continuity are continuous things. We cannot, so to speak ‘bathe in the same river twice’, the river is a constant so long as its sources are not filled up with all kinds of rubbish.
The Family is Good News was intended for the recent congress in Dublin, but will prove very inspiring far beyond that. It is a résumé of vital thoughts for our times. So too is Fr Donaldson’s book: here again it expands on the Pope’s efforts to discern the truths for modern times in the ancient texts which are so often taken for granted.