The Vatican has today published an Encyclical Letter from Pope Benedict XVI on Christian Love, entitled Deus Caritas Est. This is Pope. The following is a translation of the Summary of the Holy Father’s first Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love), which was published on Thursday, 26 January. Romanus Cessario, O.P. / Saint John’s Seminary, Boston. In the United States and Australia, the Encyclical Letter Deus caritas est enjoyed a.

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That, in essence, is what the two main parts of this Letter are about, and they are profoundly interconnected. As for the term philiathe love of friendship, it is used with added depth of meaning in Saint John’s Gospel in order to express the relationship between Jesus and his disciples. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself.

Encyclical Letter ‘Deus Caritas Est’ on Christian Love from Pope Benedict XVI

Retrieved 19 October In the Bible, especially in the New Testament, the concept of “love” is examined closely, a development which results in setting aside the word eros in favour of the term agape to express a self-sacrificing love. There are no intermediate bodies. It consists in the fact that man, through a life of fidelity to the one God, comes to experience himself as loved by God, and discovers joy in truth and in righteousness—a joy in God which becomes his essential happiness: The criterion inspiring their activity should be Saint Paul’s statement in the Second Letter to the Corinthians: Often the deepest cause of suffering is the very absence of God.

Man is truly himself when his body and soul are intimately united; the challenge of eros can be said to be truly overcome when this unification is achieved. There is admittedly some truth to this argument, but also much that is mistaken. Pope John Paul II. Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: An authentically religious attitude prevents man from presuming to judge God, accusing him of allowing poverty and failing to have compassion for his creatures.

According to the interpretation generally held today, the poems contained in this book were originally love-songs, perhaps intended for a Jewish wedding feast and meant to exalt conjugal love.


encclical The one God in whom Israel believes, on the other hand, loves with a personal love. Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him.

Summary of Deus Caritas Est

The pious Jew prayed daily the words of the Book of Deuteronomy which expressed the heart of his existence: Eros and agape are two of the various Greek words for loveeach of which has a slightly different shade of meaning: Mary’s greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself. This in turn slows down a potential revolution and thus blocks the struggle for a better world. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak.

Pope Benedict puts is succinctly: The solidarity shown by civil society thus significantly surpasses that shown by individuals.

In this context, one of the themes studied is the manner in which Deus caritas est reflects on the unity of the love of God and the love of neighbour. In this contemplation the Christian discovers the path along which his life and love must move.

This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support. He provides the […]. The increase in diversified organizations engaged in meeting various human needs is ultimately due to the fact that the command of love of neighbour is inscribed by the Creator in man’s very nature.

If I were good, I would look at things from their viewpoint, Lehter would forgive perhaps one hasty judgement or another that wounded me, I would be grateful to them for some act of devotion or another. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ.

He also points to the example of Moses, who entered the tabernacle time and again, remaining in dialogue with God, so that when he emerged he could be at the service of his people. We are publishing our translation enctclical full, accompanied by our commentary.

A trinitarian encyclical (Deus Caritas est)

Jesus united into a single precept this commandment of love for God and the commandment of love for neighbour found in the Book of Leviticus: All the more because it is necessary, in order to apply them to God, to remove from all created perfections the limitations that accompany them in creatures: The first half of the encyclical is more philosophicaltracing the meaning of the Greek words for “love”. The teaching of the Letter to the Galatians is emphatic: We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.


The encyclicl of the Good Samaritan cf. Here we can find a first, important indication in the Song of Songsan Old Testament book well known to the mystics. In order to define more accurately deys relationship between the necessary commitment to justice and the ministry of charity, two fundamental situations need to be considered: Instead of contributing through individual works of ddeus to maintaining the status quowe need to build a just social order in carutas all receive their share of the world’s goods and no longer have to depend on charity.

It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. As our preceding reflections have made clear, the true subject of the various Catholic organizations that carry out a enccylical of charity is the Church herself—at all levels, from the parishes, through the particular Churches, to the universal Church.

He refers to the conjugal love exhibited in the Song of Songsand encyclucal passages from the First Letter of St. The Church’s charitable organizations, beginning with those of Caritas at diocesan, national and international levelsought to do everything in their power to provide the resources and above all the personnel needed for this work.

Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of Deeus cf.

What is better than God? It is then that the element of agape enters into this love.