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God Is Love: Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI [Paperback]

By Pope Benedict XVI (Author)
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Item Number 110733  
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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.87" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.19"
Weight:   0.22 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2006
Publisher   Word Among Us Press
ISBN  1593250878  
EAN  9781593250874  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Pope Benedict XVI sets the tone for his pontificate in his first encyclical with a hope-filled message on the passionate love of God for us, made vis- ible in Jesus Christ. Only from this encounter with divine love, he writes, can we respond with love for others. In clear and easy-to-understand lan- guage, the pope describes the nature of love and calls us as members of the body of Christ to love one another as God first loved us. New!

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More About Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) is Pope emeritus of the Catholic Church, having served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II, celebrated his papal inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005.

Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic, serving as a professor of theology at several German universities—the last being the University of Regensburg, where he served as Vice President of the university in 1976 and 1977—he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as such, the primus inter pares among the cardinals. Prior to becoming pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century" as "one of the most respected, influential and controversial members of the College of Cardinals"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants.

He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position. He renewed the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, viewing the use of beauty as a path to the sacred, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s. Several of Pope Benedict's students from his academic career are also prominent churchmen today and confidantes of him, notably Christoph Schönborn.

On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and will continue to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae monastery for his retirement on 2 May 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI was born in 1927.

Pope Benedict XVI has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Benedict XVI
  2. Bioethics & Culture
  3. Communio Books
  4. Fathers (Our Sunday Visitor)
  5. Giniger Books
  6. Publication
  7. Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
  8. Spiritual Thoughts

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Inspiring and instructive  Jul 7, 2008
This encyclical letter succeeds at inspiring the reader. It is written in a clear and beautiful prose that conveys a powerful message, namely, that we love God by loving our fellow human beings. This document is a valuable aid for all Catholics and , I would dare to say, for all Christians.
Great Insights on Love   Apr 3, 2008
This is an Encyclical worth reading. Over the years I attempted to read several encyclicals and found them rather technical and often difficult to read. I concluded that Popes are not usually good writers and that I would read encyclicals only as reference books. Benedict XVI, for me, breaks the mold. He is an excellent writer and offers fresh insights into Christianity.

Deus Caritas Est is broken into two parts: The unity of Love in Creation and Salvation History; and Caritas, the practice of Love by the Church as a "Community of Love." This letter includes detailed explanations of Benedict's teaching points and would require a long summary. I will focus on several main points that are important to me.

In the Introduction Benedict refers to Scripture and teaches that we "come to believe" in the love of God and indicates that love is an encounter that animates and guides our lives. He proclaims the words of Jesus that the commandments are "united" into a single concept - love. God loves us and we respond by loving Him and our neighbors.

The Pope discusses Eros, the love between a man and a woman. He notes that some Christians want to avoid discussing Eros. He also notes that some Christian leaders forget that we were created as human beings. Christian Eros can be very positive and bring us closer to God. This occurs when Eros, worldly love, joins with agape, love "grounded and shaped by faith". By accepting our humanity we accept God's creation. That love, however, must not be self-centered, as Eros often is at the beginning of sexual attraction. With agape, love seeks the "good of the beloved" and is ready to sacrifice self for other. When fully formed love receives as well as gives, Eros-agape leads to a loving relationship.

The letter also addresses forgiveness. God's agape love is "completely gratuitous" and as such God's love forgives. Benedict refers to Hosea 11 and claims that God's love overcomes God's justice. " I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you."

The Pope suggests that there is an "unbreakable" bond between love of God and love of neighbor. If I "close my eyes" to neighbors, I "blind" myself to God. If I concentrate upon my religious duties and ignore others, I become arid and eventually loveless.

Benedict reminds us that the Church has three responsibilities: to proclaim the word of God, to celebrate the sacraments, and to exercise the ministry of charity. These three are inseparable. For the Church, charity must be the very essence of its activities. The
Church of today, with advances in communication and travel, must address the needs of all people everywhere. Our distinctiveness as a Church equals our charitable activities.

This encyclical has some deep insights. I plan to re-read it with much meditation and prayer. I highly recommend this encyclical.

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