Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Summer Reading Group

I am so happy about a reading group we started this summer.

We are digging into some of the Pontiff's writings!
We are not "doing" heavy duty scholarship. The plan and hope is for everyone to be enriched in their own way by the writings.

This week we read the Introduction and Part 1 of Pope Benedict's XVI first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love).
This is Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical. It deals with the most fundamental calling of every Christian: that of love.

The first part reclaims the often misused word "love" and looks specifically at the "epitome of love", that between a man and a woman. Benedict responds to the claims that Christianity destroyed erotic love by arguing that only when body and soul are united can eros be healed and be restored to its true grandeur.
The second part of the encyclical looks at how the love of God and of Christ on the cross urges us on to love our fellow human beings. Individual Christians and the Church as a body must exercise charity and service to all those in need, not motivated by any self-interest nor to take upon herself a political struggle, but simply to make the living God visible. "The anti-culture of death... is thus countered by an unselfish love which shows itself to be a culture of life by the very willingness to `lose itself' for others."

The encyclical is amazing. It is steeped in scripture and is written in a way that carries the reader along a logical and beautiful path of Christianity.

I would highly recommend getting the book OR you can access and print the encyclical in English here or in Spanish here.

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