Finally, there's another book of conversations, also first published in 2010, On Heaven and Earth, a series of talks between Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, a scientist and scholar in Buenos Aires. This book delves more deeply into matters theological, and covers a spectrum that includes God, abortion, atheism, and same-sex marriage, among other topics. But far from being academic, the book is accessible and even captivating. Insights pop off the page. Here's the cardinal touching on the topic of death and what we leave behind:

To think that we have to leave an inheritance is an extremely serious anthropological and religious concept that speaks about dignity. It is to say to oneself: I do not want to close in on myself, I do not want to fence in my life, what is mine will at least be passed on to my children, to those whom I will leave my inheritance...Inheritance is developed over time through the pilgrimage of humanity: man receives something and has to leave behind something better...

These three books are just the first trickle of what will no doubt become a tsunami of studies on Pope Francis. We can expect books of his own, too, as he begins to write and publish encyclicals. Gradually, a Franciscan theology and worldview will emerge; a papacy will take shape; another chapter in Church history will be written.

If these first books are any indication, it's a story that will ultimately make one of the most interesting and unpredictable books in any library.

Generations to come will love to read it.

I can't help but think how lucky we are to be living it.