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Friday, March 22, 2013

God is Love - Pope Benedict XVI

God is Love (Deus Caritas Est) is Pope Benedict XVI's first Encyclical letter during his Papacy.

In Part I, Benedict explains that there is a problem in the use of language when it comes to scripture. Its original language versus how it is translated into other languages can be different, specifically when it comes to the word love. He explains the three definitions of love: eros, philia, and agape. Once this is established, he further explains how love relates to the Bible in both the old and new testament. He, of course, touches on Jesus Christ's sacrifice. At the end of this portion he expresses that one can be faithful, but miss the whole point when one does not act in love to others.

Part II expresses how important charitable services is for the Catholic Church. He emphasizes that the charitable works should be out of love and not out of the desire to spread the Word. In this same portion, he expresses how other organizations should reach out, as well. One of the interesting things he notes is that with all of the technology we have now, we should be able to help even more people all around the world.

What I got from this was that Benedict feels that faith is not as important as actions done in love. To live a life of love is more true to the Christian faith than simply living a pious life. It reminds me of the quote that is often attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi: Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words..

Recommended Reads:
The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

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