Review: Heart of the Christian Life: Thoughts on Holy Mass by Pope Benedict XVI

This small volume is a collection of homilies and other writings by Pope Benedict XVI on the Mass. The special focus, of course, is the Eucharist, which he describes, as the title puts it, as the “heart of the Christian life.” For Benedict, who draws on Scripture and on the tradition of the Church, the Eucharist is the transfiguring heart of the life of a Christian. Everything else a Christian does in life is transformed and informed by the central sacramental act of the Church.

There is little, if anything, here that is revolutionary. Rather, the strength of the various short pieces assembled for this book is that they stand in line with and summarize the traditional Christian teaching about the Eucharist.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in delving deeper into the Christian worldview, particularly in how the sacraments of Christianity, and the Sacrament of Sacraments (the Eucharist) above all, play a central role in Christian life and thought.

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