Sound Board: Deus Caritas Est

Tue, Jul 31st 2018 10:00 am
St. Brendan on the Lake, Newfane

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI wrote his encyclical "Deus Caritas Est" which was a reminder of God's unfathomable love for humanity. His goal was to remind the world of the love God has for each individual and how limitless it really is.

Unfortunately in today's culture, the word "love" has lost the once sacred connotative meaning it had been regarded in. In his encyclical, Pope Benedict XVI splits love into two definitions; eros and agape. Eros is the kind of love shared between a man and a woman, while agape is considered to be the Christian love demonstrated by Jesus. These two aspects of love can never be fully separated because if one wishes to give love, they must also be willing to receive it. If these two dimensions of love were to be separated, it would result in an incomplete notion of what love should be.

The Catholic Church is called to join in the struggle for justice and love in a world riddled with war, hunger, poverty, and an accumulation of sorrows. As believers, it is our responsibility to show our love for our neighbors that which is grounded in the love of God (otherwise known as agape). Whether it be through charity, prayers, or the simple action of reaching out to one in need, our hearts should be guided by faith and the mission of love.

As Catholics, we steadfastly believe in God's everlasting love for us, but we are not quick to acknowledge the vast array of situations in which we use "love" in the wrong context.

Let us be mindful of how we apply the word as we know the pure and holy background of God's love for us that it implicates. Pope John Paul II put it perfectly when he said; "Men cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him or he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it." In other words, God wants us to be open and willing to share the love he gives us in the sacred and meaningful way he originally created it to be. We should never forget that God's love for us is endless and our mission as Catholics is to share it with the world.  

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