Item description for God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est by Pope Benedict XVI...
Overview Presents an encyclical letter from the Pope on the subject of love, discussing different kinds of love and their natures, describing the vital importance of God's love, and exploring how the Church practices love.
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date May 31, 2006
Publisher Ignatius Press
ISBN 1586171631 ISBN13 9781586171636
Availability 0 units.
More About Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) is Pope emeritus of the Catholic Church, having served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II, celebrated his papal inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005.
Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic, serving as a professor of theology at several German universities—the last being the University of Regensburg, where he served as Vice President of the university in 1976 and 1977—he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as such, the primus inter pares among the cardinals. Prior to becoming pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century" as "one of the most respected, influential and controversial members of the College of Cardinals"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants.
He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position. He renewed the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, viewing the use of beauty as a path to the sacred, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s. Several of Pope Benedict's students from his academic career are also prominent churchmen today and confidantes of him, notably Christoph Schönborn.
On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and will continue to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae monastery for his retirement on 2 May 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI was born in 1927.
Pope Benedict XVI has published or released items in the following series...
Bioethics & Culture
Fathers (Our Sunday Visitor)
John Ratzinger in Communio
Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
Reviews - What do customers think about God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est?
God is Love Oct 15, 2008
I found this to be very meaningful and relevant. While there are many parts that could be pulled out for comment, I found one simple part speaking to me specifically. As one who was and is discerning the diaconate, Pope Benedict placed into my heart what will be for me a lifelong motto; "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."
True insight into the nature of God May 2, 2008
This encyclical is an imperative for anyone who wants to understand what makes Benedict XVI tick, and what has been making him tick for many years. He is a supreme theologian, but also a man deeply in love with God. In a way that is crystal clear, he explains what it means to say that God is Love, as the apostle John tells us in his letters. This successor to the apostles explains the meanings of the word love, and how they apply to us, in ways only an outstanding teacher, which he is, can do. He helps us understand why the different meanings of the words for love in Greek are important, for each has unique implications. We can understand this most clearly when we consider the dialogue in the Greek text between Jesus and Peter after the Resurrection, where Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. In English, we do not see the dynamic of the conversation. In Greek we do, and the difference Benedict XVI explains between agape love (total self-giving love) and filio (love of friendship) becomes clear. Jesus' first question to Peter is, "Do you agape Me more than these?" Peter, mindful of his recent denials, can only respond, "You know I filio you." Jesus then changes the question and instead asks, "Do you agape Me?", not asking for a comparison of his love to that of the others. Again, Peter responds, "You know that I filio you." You can actually feel his inner pain as he understands the difference between Jesus' question and his answer. Finally, Jesus changes the question again and asks, "Do you filio Me?", and Peter responds, "Yes, Lord, you know I filio you." Benedict XVI teaches us in this encyclical that we must be ready to respond to God with an answer to these same questions. He challenges us to look within and ask ourselves how much we love God, and if we do not love God with agape love, we need to develop our relationship with God further because God loves us infinitely with an Agape Love.
Not Feeling the Love Apr 29, 2008
Why grovel? God did not write this book. There are serious issues facing the Catholic Church, one of them being the abuse scandal. On page 71 of this tomb, point 29, the Pope states: "The Church has an indirect duty here, in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of these moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run." Such could be the epitaph of the Catholic Church in regards to it's betrayal of the victims of the abuse scandals. The Church was criminally complacent, the Bishop's complicity documented, and the Church an accessory after the fact. Instead of this book, I highly recommend reading the Pope's earlier work: "What It Means to Be a Christian."
Justice belongs to God, not just forgiveness; anything less by the Church regarding its conduct in this matter is the very moral relativism and equivocation that the Pope bewails. It would be a grace from God if all Christianity became more objective and honest about its history, thus allowing for real growth and real faith. Here, the Pope desires to elaborate that Christian charitable activity, "contribute to a better world only by personally doing good now, with full commitment and wherever we have the opportunity, independently of partisan strategies and programs" (pg 81). Sadly, this volume lacks the depth and breadth of real moral strength to address the vices perpetrated with itself. Thus it fails to rise to theological heights, and falls flat, unlike several of the Pope's more challenging books, where he addressed the limits and fallibility of the Church. Clearly, God is love, and the Church does not own the sole/soul patent on this. Real faith examines difficult issues, past and present, and moves forward. What is needed is not just a supernaturally empowered scholar, but a leader capable of providing justice, not just forgiveness.
Fresh Insights into Love Apr 3, 2008
This is an Encyclical worth reading. Over the years I attempted to read several encyclicals and found them rather technical and often difficult to read. I concluded that Popes are not usually good writers and that I would read encyclicals only as reference books. Benedict XVI, for me, breaks the mold. He is an excellent writer and offers fresh insights into Christianity.
Deus Caritas Est is broken into two parts: The unity of Love in Creation and Salvation History; and Caritas, the practice of Love by the Church as a "Community of Love." This letter includes detailed explanations of Benedict's teaching points and would require a long summary. I will focus on several main points that are important to me.
In the Introduction Benedict refers to Scripture and teaches that we "come to believe" in the love of God and indicates that love is an encounter that animates and guides our lives. He proclaims the words of Jesus that the commandments are "united" into a single concept - love. God loves us and we respond by loving Him and our neighbors.
The Pope discusses Eros, the love between a man and a woman. He notes that some Christians want to avoid discussing Eros. He also notes that some Christian leaders forget that we were created as human beings. Christian Eros can be very positive and bring us closer to God. This occurs when Eros, worldly love, joins with agape, love "grounded and shaped by faith". By accepting our humanity we accept God's creation. That love, however, must not be self-centered, as Eros often is at the beginning of sexual attraction. With agape, love seeks the "good of the beloved" and is ready to sacrifice self for other. When fully formed love receives as well as gives, Eros-agape leads to a loving relationship.
The letter also addresses forgiveness. God's agape love is "completely gratuitous" and as such God's love forgives. Benedict refers to Hosea 11 and claims that God's love overcomes God's justice. " I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you."
The Pope suggests that there is an "unbreakable" bond between love of God and love of neighbor. If I "close my eyes" to neighbors, I "blind" myself to God. If I concentrate upon my religious duties and ignore others, I become arid and eventually loveless.
Benedict reminds us that the Church has three responsibilities: to proclaim the word of God, to celebrate the sacraments, and to exercise the ministry of charity. These three are inseparable. For the Church, charity must be the very essence of its activities. The Church of today, with advances in communication and travel, must address the needs of all people everywhere. Our distinctiveness as a Church equals our charitable activities.
This encyclical has some deep insights. I plan to re-read it with much meditation and prayer. I highly recommend this encyclical.
God is Love May 9, 2007
A clear and concise illumination of the theologic reason for this statement. It actually is not in the creation story but derives from it. It was also fun to read. See the mind of the new pope at work. The press accounts of him being a dour, humorless conservative are wrong,