A recent book to recommend is Wind From Heaven: The Poet Who Became Pope. This book considers the heroic papacy of John Paul II from the perspective of Karol Wojtyla as primarily a scholar and man of letters.
Wind from Heaven reminds us of the power of literature to renew the imagination, purify the language of the tribe and inspire the noble pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness. It has often been remarked that Pope John Paul used his talent as an actor in his preaching, his dramatic gesture, and his sense of timing. Ms. Jablonska shows that his appreciation of poetry and drama held within it an even deeper gift. This gift was the realization that poetry and drama are the expressions of a human longing and a more profound sense of human aspiration than simple religious devotion or the technique of theatricality.
This sense of drama and poetry meant that there was purpose and meaning to the world, and it can be argued that everything else in John Paul’s mission, philosophy, catechesis, and spirituality flowed from this essential appreciation of literature and culture. He was devoted to the truth of the Christian gospel, and it was in Christian culture—particularly in the history and the Christian culture of his beloved Poland that he saw the truths of the Christian faith incarnated most poignantly and triumphantly.
Angelico Press has done us a service to bring this book to the public from a Polish author. Monika Jablonska summarizes the amazing life and papacy of John Paul and reminds us that literature and the poet’s vision of beauty is not only deeply Catholic and sacramental, but it is purgative and redeeming.
Read my full review of the book here at the Imaginative Conservative website.
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