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“When you are young,” writes Leahy, “you have dreams, hopes and expectations. Karol Woytyla … was no different.” Believe in Love paints the rich landscape of John Paul II’s formative influences, his theological and philosophical foundations, and his personal reflections. For John Paul, he writes, “God is not way up in the clouds in remote majesty and might.” Rather, the chapters reflect the pontiff’s belief that we need to link our notion of God with our understanding of what it is to be human. Hence we have chapters on dialogue, culture, anthropology, young people, families, artists, politics, economics, work, war and peace, forgiveness, and the elderly. In his very accessible style, Leahy also includes chapters on the major theological contributions of John Paul II, such as his insights on:

  • the Theology of the Body
  • crisis in the Church, women, the priesthood, and the Movements
  • understanding and promoting a Spirituality of Communion
  • the Eucharist
  • Christ crucified and suffering
  • Prayer
  • Ecumenical and interfaith dialogue

Short chapters on clearly delineated topics provide the perfect starting point for individual daily reflection or for discussion in a faith-sharing group.


Rev. Brendan Leahy is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifical University of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, in Ireland. He is a von Balthasar scholar and an ecumenist and has also authored articles and books on interreligious dialogue, issues facing the Church in the 21st century, the ecclesial movements of the Church, renewal in the Church, and the priesthood.


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