Meeting Jesus and Following Him: A Retreat Given to Pope Benedict XVI and the Papal Household


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Drawn from his retreat talks given to Pope Benedict and his associates at the papal household, Cardinal Arinze offers inspiring spiritual exercises focusing on the meaning of the priestly life. “The red thread which will run through all these meditations,” writes Cardinal Arinze, “is the image of the priest who, called by Jesus, meets him, follows him and seeks each day to become a better disciple.”


Although the Cardinal refers to “priests”, he insists that much of what he says applies to anyone in ordained ministry – deacons, priests and bishops. In fact, even lay people and religious can greatly benefit from prayerfully reading his reflections on being a disciple of the Lord.

“For every human being, for every Christian, and even more for every priest, Jesus Christ gives meaning to life”, writes Cardinal Arinze. “He gives a sense of unity to all the things in which we are engaged. Jesus indicates the correct direction for our life because he is the way, the truth and the life (cf Jn 14:6). In these meditations we shall have in front of us the priest who meets Jesus and follows him.”

“Commenting on the Biblical texts, venerable Brother, you have communicated to us, with the gracefulness and the depth that we associate with you, the fruit of your personal experience of life and of your priestly ministry, of which you recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary. In this way, with the authority that comes from personal experience, you have helped us to rediscover and deepen the primacy of the presence of Christ in our lives: Christ met, Christ followed and always again to be followed, inexhaustible source of joy and peace.”
— Pope Benedict XVI

“Cardinal Arinze invites us all to discipleship of Jesus Christ and thus challenges us back to basics — he reminds priests and all people that we need to repent and believe to enter into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ, and he shows us what all this entails. Do not read this book if you are not interested in changing, but do not miss reading this book if you want to grow in holiness!”
— Fr. Larry Richards, Author, Be a Man!

Cardinal Francis Arinze grew up in Nigeria, became the youngest Bishop in the world, and the first African Cardinal to head a Vatican office. He was the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. His biography, God’s Invisible Hand, was published by Ignatius Press as well as Celebrating the Holy Eucharist.