His personal concerns as expressed in these passages include such topics as "Sharing with Others," "To Be in Peace," "Consumer Society," "Family Prayer," and "The Great Divine Trial," about the meaning of his near-assassination. Through these pages of calm reflection each day of the year, all will find a moment of peaceful repose from the occupations of life.
As the head of the Roman Catholic Church for twenty-five years, from the final decades of the twentieth century to the first years of the new millennium, Pope John Paul II significantly impacted our world. As famous as a rock star, this powerful leader who conferred with numerous heads of state was the ultimate model of wisdom and religious commitment for numerous Catholics around the globe.
Throughout much of his adult life, from 1962 until two years before his death in 2003, John Paul II kept a series of private diaries in which he disclosed his innermost thoughts, impressions, and concerns. Written in his native Polish and never before available in English until now, these journals provide intimate and deeply moving insight into a man, a priest, and a saint’s spirituality and a life devoted completely to God.
In God’s Hands lays bare the soul of this powerful, influential statesman, revealing a devout man untouched by his celebrity status; a selfless servant of God who spent decades questioning whether he was worthy of the role he was called to carry out. Over forty years, from his bishopric in Krakow to his election to the papacy to his final years, one question guided him: "Am I serving God?"
Entrusted to his personal secretary—who defied John Paul II’s instructions to burn them after his death—these notebooks provide us with a privileged glimpse into the life of a humble man who never took for granted his mission or his exalted role in the church and in the world.
With a foreword by Cardinal William W. Baum, head of the Holy See's Major Penitentiary and former archbishop of Washington DC, an introduction by Bishop William Murphy, and a moving eulogy composed for the pope's funeral by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), A Year with John Paul II will take readers on a year-long spiritual journey with this deeply religious and inspiring man.
Karol Wojyla was born on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. He survived the Nazi occupation during World War II and was ordained to the priesthood in 1946. He was appointed archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI. On October 16, 1978, he ascended to the papacy, taking the name John Paul II. During his papacy he greeted an estimated sixteen million pilgrims at the Vatican's general audiences. Pope John Paul II died in April 2005.