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