What the world needs now is Love, Love in Truth

I downloaded Pope Benedict’s newest encyclical, Love in Truth, a couple of days ago and started reading it last night. It’s about 30,000 words and I’ve only read through section 12 (out of 79), but I can tell you that I am really enjoying it. We’re talking social justice here and the weaving together of many themes that concern the Church today and that concern all people of good will. Or should concern them anyway. The Pope discusses economic progress and the integral human development of people in the world. He’s not trying to tell us what to do, but he is showing us what the Church has to offer in the way of light for our path. I’ve heard some critics of the encyclical already, but they admitted that they haven’t actually read it. Oy. So read it already, then think about it. Then read it again. And think some more. Then if you have something to say…read it again.

Of course, I couldn’t help but notice that the beautiful prose I’ve come to expect from Pope Benedict is there but so is some rather more difficult language, not as poetic as he so often is. I heard on The World Over last night that he had some “assistance” in writing it, some bishops who put their two cents worth into it. I can’t help but wish that they had submitted their ideas to the Pope but had left the actual writing completely and solely to him. But there’s enough of him there that it comes shining through. I highly recommend this document to every person who is struggling to understand what is happening in the world today, and is also struggling to know what to do. What the world surely needs now is love, love in truth.

I’ll write more after I’ve had time to finish reading it. And thinking about it. And praying about it. And thinking some more. For now, all I want to say is, Thank you, Pope Benedict! I’ve read your other encyclicals and some of your books and you have become one of my main spiritual teachers. May God bless you as He has blessed all of us by giving us such a wonderful Pope!

Oh, and by the way, for that Catholic who told me that the Gospel of Life was just an encyclical and so not binding upon Catholics, Fr. Sirico said on The World Over last night that an encyclical is the highest level of authority of the normal Magisterium, the normal teaching authority of the Church. Just so’s ya know. :P

Read Caritas in Veritate, Love (or Charity) in Truth, Pope Benedict’s newest encyclical at EWTN.

2 thoughts on “What the world needs now is Love, Love in Truth

    1. Gee, thanks for the easy question, Susan. ;) Below I’ve quoted from Unpacking Caritas in Veritate. These few sentences seem to sum up the encyclical by way of a short wade instead of diving deep, which I am not prepared to do. (By the way, I don’t know much about teaching teenagers, so I wouldn’t be the one to ask about that. But I can tell you that I don’t talk down to children or teens, I treat them as human beings with minds. Sorry I can’t be more help there.)

      Charity and Justice:

      “Charity in truth” is the basic “principle” of the Church’s social doctrine.
      Two critical moral criteria: justice and the common good: Justice is “intrinsic” to charity; Love demands that we seek the “common good.”

      Two truths [from chapter one, The Message of Populorum Progressio]: The Church in “her being and acting” promotes integral human development. Authentic human development concerns the whole person in every dimension.

      The Church’s social doctrine is unchanging and ever new.

      [Populorum Progressio] [a]ffirms the links between: Life ethics and social ethics; Human advancement and evangelization.

      Human development is a “vocation,” not a task. It flows from our relationship with God.

      Quoted from Unpacking Caritas in Veritate.

      Thanks for reading, Susan. Peace be with you.


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