Lessons in Hope

My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II
Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
5 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A preeminent authority on the Catholic Church and papal biographer describes what he learned from chronicling the life of Pope John Paul II

In Lessons in Hope, George Weigel tells the story of his unique friendship with St. John Paul II. As Weigel learns the pope "from inside", he also offers a firsthand account of the tumult of post-Vatican II Catholicism and the Cold War's endgame, introducing listeners to the heroes who brought down European communism. Later, he shows us the aging pope grappling with the post-9/11 world order and teaching new lessons in dignity through his own suffering.

A deeply humane portrait of an eminent scholar learning a saint, Lessons in Hope is essential listening for anyone seeking a fuller understanding of a world-changing pope.

©2017 George Weigel (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Reading Lessons of Hope is like watching a play about the making of a play. It's a book about the making of the most comprehensive and compelling biography of Pope John Paul II. No other writer enjoyed anything like the personal access that George Weigel did; no one else can speak now with more authority about the Polish pope's remarkable life journey and its impact. And no one else can tell the story behind the story better than Weigel does in this insightful, revealing postscript." (Andrew Nagorski, former Newsweek Rome and Warsaw bureau chief and author of The Nazi Hunters and Hitlerland)
"This book recalls a particularly splendid moment in the recent history of Catholicism, a time when a saintly Pope exerted a decisive influence on both the Church and the wider society. But above all, it tells a compelling story of divine providence, the manner in which God wove two lives together - George Weigel's and John Paul II's - for their mutual benefit. Briskly written, intelligent, funny, filled with good stories, Lessons in Hope will be a joy to anyone who reads it." (Bishop Robert Barron)

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Review of Lesson’s in Hope

At first I thought this was a bit slow going however the further along I got along the more interesting and fascinating it became. Eventually could not wait to turn it on when we got in the car to continue our trip. I felt like I was on a journey through history and Saint Pope John Paul’s Life along with Mr. Weigel
And it gave me greater understanding of the Saint, his great gifts and Mr. Weigel’s great good fortune to share his literary and research expertise to share this with me.
I also gave me pause to consider how this relates to our current culture in the USA and the Catholic Church.

7 people found this helpful

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Great read!

Insightful and well written piece of work about a great statesman, written by one who knew him intimately. Very engaging!

6 people found this helpful

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Magical (Miraculous?) stories

I've read the two earlier biographies of Pope John Paul and, as the author hoped, this is a wonderful third piece of the package. Highly recommended! And I'm going to read again the first two parts.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful experiences with John Paul.

The author had free access to John Paul and the book is the fruit of his experiences. A joyful read.

5 people found this helpful

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Terrific look into the story behind the story

A great inside look at the friendship between the author and a saint and the creation of one of the best biographies ever written

5 people found this helpful

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A lifeline in world of chaos

Weigel has written a beautiful memoir of his unexpected life with Pope St. John Paul II. Weaving personal biography with theological depth, this book is a great complement to Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning. There are new stories and new details on familiar stories. This is a great book.

My only quibble is that the narrator’s pronunciation of many words that will be familiar to Church nerds and JPII nerds will grate. The rest of his performance is fine.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 11-23-18

Great book!

George Weigel does a great job giving us the ins and outs of his journey. He provides great depth and insight.

1 person found this helpful

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So far really enjoying it!

I’m really enjoying listening to Weigel’s adventure around the world in becoming the Pope’s biographer. It’s a behind the scenes look into the story of writing this great biography and the people, places, lessons and experiences encountered along the way. Especially revealing and moving are his encounters with the Pope and the special friendship that emerges with the insights to JPII’s life and thoughts.

1 person found this helpful

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Misleading

Mr Weigel writes a book about himself and sells it as a third peace of his great works on John Paul II. The stories are nice, but there is a lot of self-incensation.
Mr Meskimen does a terrible job with non-American names... I would have expected better, specially when he quotes in another language... big disappointment.

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    2 out of 5 stars

So Disappointed 😞

I was so looking forward to this book but the last thing I wanted to hear is the person doing the research and to me it was the researcher's including " look people at how hard I work! " I flipped thru too much of his "look at me" that I gave up. 😠 Wish I could return it.