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Dignitatis humanae Gaudium et spes.

He distributed to the poor whatever funds were available and then presented to the authorities the poor themselves as the real treasure of the Church. People who pray are not wasting their time, even though the situation appears desperate and seems to call for action alone. Despite being extended to all mankind, it is not reduced to a generic, abstract and undemanding expression of love, but calls for my own practical commitment here and now.

Paragraph 39 appears to be inspired by Dante Alighieri ‘s Divine Comedyreflecting in particular the last canto of “Paradise”, which ends before “the everlasting Light that is God himself, before that Light which at the same time is the love which moves the sun and the other stars”.

Faith, hope and charity go together. In the Old Testament, the novelty of the Bible did not consist merely in abstract notions but in God’s unpredictable and in some sense unprecedented activity. I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me.

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This in turn led us to consider two fundamental words: Clearly, the Christian who prays does not claim to be able to change God’s plans or correct what he has foreseen.


My deep personal sharing in the needs and sufferings of others becomes a sharing of my very self with them: As citizens of the State, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity. In all humility we will do what we can, and in all humility we will entrust the rest to the Lord. The relationship between capital and labour now became the decisive issue—an issue which in that form was previously unknown.

But this text hardly excludes the love of God as something impossible. It is from there that our definition of love must begin. We have seen that God’s eros for man is also totally agape.

Dncyclique attempting to define the specific profile of the Church’s activities in the service of man, I now wish to consider the overall situation of the struggle for justice and love in the world of today. The multiple structures of charitable service in the social context of the present day Here Christians can see a dim prefigurement of the mystery ext the Cross: The second, essentially connected to this, is found in the image of man.

encycliqque In the critique of Christianity which began with the Enlightenment and grew progressively more radical, this new element was seen as something thoroughly negative. Eros was thus celebrated ddeus divine power, as fellowship with the Divine. Nor has the Lord been absent from subsequent Church history: Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew.


John which inspired the title.

Deus caritas est (December 25, ) | BENEDICT XVI

Finally, let us consider the saints, who exercised esh in an exemplary way. And this is the aspect, this service of charityon which I want to focus in the second part of the Encyclical.

By their sharing in the Church’s practice of love, they wish to be witnesses of God and of Christ, and they wish for this very reason freely to do good to all. When we consider the immensity of others’ needs, we can, on the one hand, be driven towards an ideology that would aim at doing what God’s governance of the world apparently cannot: Yet at the same time caritas- agape extends beyond the frontiers of the Church.

Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: The Church has an indirect duty here, in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run.

In the gradual unfolding of this encounter, it is clearly revealed that love is not merely a sentiment. It could hardly be otherwise, since its promise looks towards its definitive goal: