A Priestly Woof

Milestones
Memoirs 1927 – 1977

Joseph Ratzinger

A week ago I returned home from Germany after enjoying a wonderful two week holiday there. I stayed in the south-east of the country with my Camino friend Ellena. Every day, I got to look out of the window and see the schwarzwald, the Black Forest; it was heavenly.

During my visit, I decided to read the former Cardinal Ratzinger’s memoir, Milestones. Well, he is German, after all!

I first read the book a few years ago. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my copy of it (I am surrounded by books at home, which rather ironically makes the task of finding any somewhat difficult) so downloaded a copy to my Kindle App.

The book is a very short, around 150 pages, and lightly written account of the first half of Ratzinger’s life. Reading it was a joy – admittedly, this was partly because I am Ratzinger fanboy, but also because he comes across as a very humble individual.

Of course he does, you might say, he wrote it! That’s a fair point. On that note, if I have one regret about the book it is that it is much too short and constantly glosses over the controversies of Ratzinger’s life, whether they involved him (and, for example, his teaching career during the tumultuous sixties) or events that he was part of (Vatican II). I wish he had decided to say more about them.

Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has been a titanic influence on the Catholic Church in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first; if you are interested in either him or it, Milestones is a super read. I would also read it to get the low down on someone who will surely, come the day, be declared a saint (and, I hope, a Doctor of the Church). When you do, you will be in the presence of a calm, God filled man who as it seems to me entirely in the light of his Faith.

Credit Where It’s Due
Front Page of Milestones: Amazon

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