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But this text hardly excludes the love of God as something impossible. Of all other creatures, not one is capable of being the helper that man needs, even though he has assigned a name to all the wild beasts and birds and thus made them fully a part of his life. A personal relationship with God and an abandonment to his will can prevent man from being demeaned and save him from falling prey to the teaching of fanaticism and terrorism.

Doesn’t she blow the whistle just when the joy which is the Creator’s gift offers us a happiness which is itself a certain foretaste of the Divine?

Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically. This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit, but also because it is love which forgives.

It is characteristic of mature love that it calls into play all man’s potentialities; it engages the whole man, so to speak.

Deus caritas est (December 25, ) | BENEDICT XVI

In the Old Testament, the novelty of the Bible did not consist merely in abstract notions but in God’s unpredictable and in some sense unprecedented activity. Retrieved 19 October The philosophical dimension to be noted in this biblical vision, and its importance from the standpoint of the history of religions, lies in the fact that on the one hand we find ourselves before a strictly metaphysical image of God: Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.


The reform of paganism attempted by the emperor Julian the Apostate is only an initial example of this effect; here we see how the power of Christianity spread well beyond the frontiers of the Christian faith. First, there is a certain relationship between love and the Divine: Men and women of every time and place have recourse to her motherly kindness and her virginal purity and grace, in all their needs and aspirations, their joys and sorrows, their moments of loneliness and their common endeavours.

Jesus gave this act of oblation an enduring presence through his institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. Seen in this way, charity is rejected and attacked as a means of preserving the status quo. Latin Church Eastern Catholic Churches: In surrounding cultures, the image of God and of the gods ultimately remained unclear and contradictory.

Yet he does not prevent us from crying out, like Jesus on the Cross: Two aspects of this are important. It is so great that it turns God against himself, his love against his justice.

In these words she expresses her whole programme of life: Idem velle atque idem nolle [9] —to want the same thing, and to reject the same thing—was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: Nowadays Christianity of the past is often criticized as having been opposed to the body; and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed.

Let us note straight away that the Greek Old Testament uses the word eros only twice, while the New Testament does not use it at all: God does not demand of us a feeling which we ourselves are incapable of producing.

In this contemplation the Christian discovers the path along which his life and love must move. No one has ever seen God, so how could we love him? Love of God and love of neighbour have become one: 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 God cf. 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.


The more the two, in their different aspects, find a proper unity in the one reality of love, the more the true nature of love in general is realized. To do all we can with what strength we have, however, is the task which keeps the good servant of Jesus Christ always at work: Those who are in a position to help others will realize that in doing so they themselves receive help; being able to help others is no merit or achievement of their own. Here it might be helpful to allude to the earliest legal structures associated with the service of charity in the Church.

The unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbour is emphasized. Isik performs surgery on the breast, face and body. 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.

Works of charity—almsgiving—are in effect a way for the rich to shirk their obligation to work for justice and a means of soothing their consciences, while preserving their own status and robbing the poor of their rights. They need heartfelt concern.

Those who practise charity in the Church’s name will never seek to impose the Church’s faith upon others. In considering erosBenedict refers to a line from Virgil ‘s EcloguesBook X, line 69, “Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus amori” “Love conquers all, let us also yield to love”and the opinion of Friedrich Nietzsche that Christianity has poisoned erosturning it into a vice.

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How can we obtain it? The real novelty of the New Testament lies not so much in new ideas as in the figure of Christ himself, who gives flesh and blood to those concepts—an unprecedented realism. Frank Isik for professional, personalized encycoique for more than a decade. There is admittedly some truth to this argument, but also much that is mistaken.

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