Everyone needs love. Everyone desires love. But not everyone understands love. In fact, love is probably the most misunderstood subject in history.
In his first Encyclical, Pope Benedict helps to clarify the meaning of love. He examines the nature of various kinds of love—human love and divine love, eros, friendship, and charity. He writes beautifully and inspirationally of how man was made for love by the God who is love, the God who became one of us out of love—Jesus Christ.
In the second part of the Encyclical, Benedict addresses the Church's practice of love. He examines the relationship between justice and charity, as well as the call of every Catholic to serve others in love. The Pope's "love letter" to mankind is remarkably accessible and timely.
Jewels from "God Is Love" Deus Caritas Est
"'God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him' (1 Jn 4:16). These words from the First Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny."
"We have come to believe in God's love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, that gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction."
"St. John's Gospel describes that event in these words: 'God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should . . . have eternal life' (3:16). In acknowledging the centrality of love, Christian faith has retained the core of Israel's faith, while at the same time giving it new depth and breadth."
"In a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence, this message is both timely and significant. For this reason, I wish in my first Encyclical, to speak of the love which God lavishes upon us, and which we in turn must share with others."
"I wanted here—at the beginning of my Pontificate—to clarify some essential facts concerning the love which God mysteriously and gratuitously offers to man, together with the intrinsic link between that Love and the reality of human love."—Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best- selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.