Journey Towards Easter; Retreat given in the Vatican in the presence of Pope John Paul II
New York: Crossroad, 1987. First edition. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Fine. Item #1345
"TO MAKE A RETREAT IS TO GO INTO TRAINING TO BE CHRISTIAN"
First edition of Joseph Ratzinger's reflections on the Paschal Mystery—based on a Lenten retreat given for Pope John Paul II and the Roman Curia in 1983. Laid-in is a separate papal portrait, a color photograph captioned in ink: "Benedictus PP XVI."
Journey Towards Easter is composed of three sections: Part I. Introduction to the Liturgy of the First Week of Lent, Part II. The Mystery of Jesus, Part III. Christ, the Church, the Priesthood. Each part of the text concludes with brief end notes. With a short Preface ("Rome, Feast of the Presentation 1986 / Joseph Card. Ratzinger") describing the days leading to the Paschal Mystery as a retreat in themselves and "the great spiritual exercise which the Church presents from year to year." Cardinal Ratzinger, in his role as prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was a longtime close ally of Pope John Paul II after his appointment as Prefect of the CDF in 1981. Given the Vatican setting, the final portion of the book places a natural emphasis on the clergy. Ratzinger concludes: "Even today the Lord invites us to push out into the deep...the fish will be in abundance because the Lord dwells in Peter's Boat."