“Benedict XVI was a spiritual master,” writes Robert Cardinal Sarah of his longtime mentor, after his death in 2022. “His very precise and profound theological thought is rooted in an authentic mystical and spiritual experience.” This book offers not an academic analysis of Ratzinger’s intellectual work, but a personal sketch of the “soul of Joseph Ratzinger”, a glimpse into “the secret recesses of his heart”.
In He Gave Us So Much, Cardinal Sarah traces the spiritual contours of Ratzinger’s life and thought, revealing the image of a man on fire with love for God and neighbor. Benedict XVI was no professor in an ivory tower, but a shepherd and pastor, with the heart of a father. For him, prayer and meditation—communion with Christ—stand at the vibrant center of all Christian existence.
After a series of essays on Ratzinger, He Gave Us So Much also presents a selection of texts and homilies written by the late pope himself, arranged by Cardinal Sarah as a “spiritual itinerary” for prayer. These works invite us to follow Jesus in our own lives—body, soul, and spirit—to the ends of the earth and beyond.
“You may discover an unexpected, unknown Benedict XVI,” proposes Cardinal Sarah. “His teaching and his example are a continent, still unexplored, where the Church will be able to find nourishment for a long time.” This is no ordinary biography, but—in Sarah’s words—the “portrait of a saint”.