A new volume of the “Exchange of Gifts” series of the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, LEV) has been issued. Entitled “Il Cielo sulla Terra: Amare e Servire per la trasformazione del mondo” (“Heaven on earth: Loving and serving in order to transform the world”), the book draws together a collection of Pope Francis’ statements on the way in which faith can be transformed into tangible acts of charity towards others.
The volume includes a Preface by Reverend Dr Martin Junge, Secretary General of the Lutheran World Federation, in which he writes "[In this book] the bond that is constitutive of the human family shapes our Christian vocation". It is a commitment that involves common service for the least among us and for the suffering: “Together we bear witness to God’s mercy both through the confession of faith and through our common service to the world.”
The new book also includes a previously unpublished text in which Pope Francis reflects, “Christianity did not transform the ancient world with worldly tactics or ethical voluntarisms, but solely by the power of the Spirit of the Risen Jesus … The whole river of small or large works of charity, a current of solidarity that has been flowing through history for two thousand years, has this unique source. Charity is born of emotion, amazement and grace”.
The “Exchange of Gifts” series has an ecumenical focus, with most volumes including a preface written by representative of other Churches or Ecclesial Communities. The first two volumes of the series had been prefaced respectively by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and by Patriarch Kirill of the Moscow Patriarchate. The third was prefaced by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
(Photo: Vatican News)