Monday, January 16, 2006

DEUS CARITAS EST: More From the Sneak Preview

ANSA's really got it down.... I'm just translating their stuff.
Benedict XVI in his first encyclical -- "God is love" -- directs humanity's attention to the dissociation of two aspects of love: "eros and agape." Without agape, or "that love founded in faith and formed from it," eros devolves into being "degraded into something purely sexual." It becomes "goods," something that "one can buy and sell." "Man, therefore, becomes merchandise." But when they're united -- eros and agape -- they form a perfect synthesis, a unity of the concept of the love which gives to and receives from others.

In the encyclical which will be presented in the coming days, the Pope observes that when this opposition between the love that gives itself, agape, and the love of desire, eros, takes root, the characteristic aspect of Christianity becomes disjointed from the fundamental questions of the life of man. Moreover, these two sides of love enter into a just unity, always realizing further the true essence of love.

Also, "marriage based on an exclusive love becomes the representation of God with his people, and vice versa." In hs first encyclical, Papa Ratzinger asks fundamental questions on life, on who God is and who we are. He then reflects on Christian revelation, which reaches its culmination in the expression 'God is love.'