Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical letter just came out today. I’ve printed it out and want badly to read it, but work has intervened. I have read the introduction and I think the following paragraph beautifully explains the gist of the letter.
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. That, in essence, is what the two main parts of this Letter are about, and they are profoundly interconnected. The first part is more speculative, since 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. The second part is more concrete, since it treats the ecclesial exercise of the commandment of love of neighbour. The argument has vast implications, but a lengthy treatment would go beyond the scope of the present Encyclical. I wish to emphasize some basic elements, so as to call forth in the world renewed energy and commitment in the human response to God’s love.
And there was much rejoicing. From what I’ve red so far, this one will probably appeal to not just Catholics, but to all Christians and possibly even to non-Christians. I can wait to read it. I urge you all to click on the link below and read it too.
UPDATE: I just noticed that Gerald over at the Cafeteria is Closed has done an awesome job summarizing the encyclical. Click on the link below and go have a look. I almost feel like I don’t need to read it now, but of course I will. Good job my man!