Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More God Is Love (Less Graphics Problems, hehe)

This is a really beautiful encyclical. It seems to be a good fit for the little bits of reading time I get in the car or while waiting during the kids' extracurricular activities. Here are a few more beautiful passages...

Fundamentally, "love" is a single reality, but with different dimensions; at different times, one or other dimension may emerge more clearly. Yet when the two dimensions are totally cut off from one another the result is a caricature or at least an impoverished form of love. And we have also seen, synthetically, that biblical faith does not set up a parallel universe, or one opposed to that primordial human phenomenon which is love, but rather accepts the whole man; it intervenes in his search for love in order to purify it and to reveal new dimensions of it. (pg. 12)

When Jesus speaks in his parables of the shepherd who goes after the lost sheep, of the woman who looks for the lost coin, of the father who goes to meet and embrace his prodigal son, these are no mere words: they constitute an explanation of his very being and activity. His death on the Cross is the culmination of that turning of God against himself in which he gives himself in order to raise man up and save him. This is love in its most radical form. (pg. 17)

The portion on love and the Eucharist (titled "Jesus Christ-the incarnate love of God") is absolutely amazing. I'd have to quote the whole section, though to remember and share what I want to from it. The Pope makes the most amazing connections here between the Old and New Testaments and how Jesus, in His very being and existence, gave us a much greater understanding of love. Here's a little bit more...

The transition which he makes from the Law and the Prophets to the twofold commandment of love of God and of neighbor, and his grounding the whole life of faith on this central precept, is not simply a matter of morality - something that could exist apart from and alongside faith in Christ and its sacramental re-actualization. Faith, worship, and ethos are interwoven as a single reality which takes shape in our encounter with God's agape. Here the usual contraposition between worship and ethics simply falls apart. "Worship" itself, Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn. (pg. 19)

And here's a nicely related post on the Patience of God, the Impatience of Man.

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