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  #1  
Old Jul 20, '09, 10:53 am
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Lightbulb Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
CARITAS IN VERITATE (LINK)
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
BENEDICT XVI
TO THE BISHOPS
PRIESTS AND DEACONS
MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS
THE LAY FAITHFUL
AND ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL
ON INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
IN CHARITY AND TRUTH
INTRODUCTION
1. Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:22). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person. The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).
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  #2  
Old Jul 20, '09, 11:07 am
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Lightbulb Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

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1. Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection,

First let's realize that this is a supernatural and miraculous source that has the power to change the world and to do so by changing each of us even if we don't understand it.
Quote:
is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth.
Yes Holy Father, it takes guts to do what is right and to set aside our own self interest.
Quote:
Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:22).
Isn't that the path we are all on? (Or should be?)
Quote:
To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).
Quote:
All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person.
Isn't that we refer to as "the natural law"?
Quote:
The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).
IOW, it's what makes us Christians tick...(or it should).
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  #3  
Old Jul 20, '09, 11:09 am
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Lightbulb Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

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2. Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (cf. 1 Jn 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God's greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope.
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  #4  
Old Jul 20, '09, 1:21 pm
Charlotte408 Charlotte408 is offline
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Default Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

Thats so pretty...
  #5  
Old Jul 21, '09, 5:36 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

Quote:
2. Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40).
That seems pretty straight forward. That's why 1st Corinthians 13 says that the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is love.
Quote:
It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones).
He's spot on right here. Look again at 1st Corinthians 13.[1]If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
[2] And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
[3] If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Quote:
For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (cf. 1 Jn 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God's greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope.
What can one say to this? There is nothing to add.

I think this is the key to all the rest of this encyclical and he is calling us all to the very practical application of this love he's speaking of. Holy Father!
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  #6  
Old Jul 21, '09, 6:06 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

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I am aware of the ways in which charity has been and continues to be misconstrued and emptied of meaning, with the consequent risk of being misinterpreted, detached from ethical living and, in any event, undervalued. In the social, juridical, cultural, political and economic fields — the contexts, in other words, that are most exposed to this danger — it is easily dismissed as irrelevant for interpreting and giving direction to moral responsibility.
I think this is precisely what has happened in many of the responses to this letter so far. We need to read what is here and what His Holiness bases his remarks on and nothing more. What he is saying is that he's about to explore the practical ways that we can implement real Christian love in the real world practicalities of financial and fiscal dealings with each other.
Quote:
Hence the need to link charity with truth not only in the sequence, pointed out by Saint Paul, of veritas in caritate (Eph 4:15), but also in the inverse and complementary sequence of caritas in veritate. Truth needs to be sought, found and expressed within the “economy” of charity, but charity in its turn needs to be understood, confirmed and practised in the light of truth.
"veritas in caritate ...caritas in veritate" Truth in love and love in truth...So what I see here is Pope Benedict XVI telling us that we are about to confront the very serious business of implementing this teaching where the rubber really does meet the road. It's not enough to simply speak the truth in love (how many times have we Catholics heard that verse quoted to us just before some a-C proceeds to unload a load of vitriolic polemics all over our mot holy faith. Do we really feel loved when that happens?

Same concept here.

It does no good for us to talk about loving our neighbors if we won't really begin to work to bring the morality of charity into the world of finances. This could mean that we really get down and hit the reset button on how we do business.
Quote:
In this way, not only do we do a service to charity enlightened by truth, but we also help give credibility to truth, demonstrating its persuasive and authenticating power in the practical setting of social living.
Exactly what I thought he was getting at. Consider the power of the Christian witness that the world will see if we are willing to hear this message with open hearts and then use it as the springboard for the real changes that need to be effected in our financial institutions and our own lives.
Quote:
This is a matter of no small account today, in a social and cultural context which relativizes truth, often paying little heed to it and showing increasing reluctance to acknowledge its existence.
I have to agree with His Holiness here and it calls to mind something I remember reading in the Gospel. [18] And a ruler asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
[19] And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
[20] You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'"
[21] And he said, "All these I have observed from my youth."
[22] And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
[23] But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich.
[24] Jesus looking at him said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!
[25] For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
[26] Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?"
[27] But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
[28] And Peter said, "Lo, we have left our homes and followed you."
[29] And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
[30] who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life." (Luke 18)
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Last edited by Michael Francis; Jul 21, '09 at 8:35 pm. Reason: typos
  #7  
Old Jul 26, '09, 7:44 am
Harri Laaksonen Harri Laaksonen is offline
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Default Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

I really like this thread. We need to read and digest this document.

Too bad that so many people have made comments based on small bits taken out of context. I agree, so far with your observations but we are still in the introduction. Later the document gets quite specific about some areas of responsibility, and especially how people of faith need to look at their preconceived ideas about business and economics in the light of charity and truth.
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  #8  
Old Jul 28, '09, 8:33 am
byeway byeway is offline
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Default Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

OK -- I've read it, agree with it, highlighted key phrases, and will pass it along to anyone I know who is willing to study it - - - but I'm not a nation or a powerful political / financial force.

How do I go about evangelizing those leaders of government and finance who need to implement it?

I mean, if THE POPE can't get through to them, what chance have I?
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  #9  
Old Jul 28, '09, 9:43 am
Harri Laaksonen Harri Laaksonen is offline
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Default Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

Welcome Bill,

Hey, this is not a matter of raw power. That is certainly one of the main points that the Pope is making.

What influence do we have? We talk to people who make decisions at some level just like we do. We can communicate with our peers and with those a couple of levels above us in the company, etc. We can let C-in-V inform our individual decisions and attitudes toward the products and services we use...

I am very happy that there are more people reading the document and understanding it.
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  #10  
Old Jul 29, '09, 5:55 am
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Default Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

Hi Guys! Welcome to the thread!
Quote:
3. Through this close link with truth, charity can be recognized as an authentic expression of humanity and as an element of fundamental importance in human relations, including those of a public nature.
Exactly! This is not just about governments or individuals, but about both!
Quote:
Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way.
His Holiness is nothing if not profound! There is so much packed into this one passage that sets the stage for all else that he goes on to say.
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In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite.
This sounds like a solemn indictment of the secular humanism that pervades and guides so much of our society today doesn't it?
Quote:
Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space. In the truth, charity reflects the personal yet public dimension of faith in the God of the Bible, who is both Agápe and Lógos: Charity and Truth, Love and Word.
Here Pope Benedict has just spelled out the whole of what he is going to tell us.

This is all about bringing true Christian love into our personal and public finances. This is where we find all of us being called to a deeper conversion and practice of our faith.
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  #11  
Old Jul 30, '09, 4:27 pm
TerryLynn_SeKr TerryLynn_SeKr is offline
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Default Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

Thank you so much Michael for breaking this into small pieces that I can read and pray over.
Keep up the good work!
  #12  
Old Jul 31, '09, 10:21 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

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4. Because it is filled with truth, charity can be understood in the abundance of its values, it can be shared and communicated.
I think that is exactly what this encyclical is all about. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, because it is in the abundance of it's values that charity gives meaning to the things that we do in our daily lives and that should ideally "cascade in reverse" (to coin a phrase) up to the actions of Governments and ultimately to the whole world.
Quote:
Truth, in fact, is lógos which creates diá-logos, and hence communication and communion.
The Logos, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is the one who said of Himself, "I am...the truth..." (see John 14:6) and it is that truth that should draw us all into that relationship with Him that cause us to seek that dialogos with Him and the with others as we carry out what He has called us to do.
Quote:
Truth, by enabling men and women to let go of their subjective opinions and impressions, allows them to move beyond cultural and historical limitations and to come together in the assessment of the value and substance of things.
And only in this way can any real progress toward justice in our world be accomplished.
Quote:
Truth opens and unites our minds in the lógos of love: this is the Christian proclamation and testimony of charity.
Quote:
In the present social and cultural context, where there is a widespread tendency to relativize truth, practising charity in truth helps people to understand that adhering to the values of Christianity is not merely useful but essential for building a good society and for true integral human development.
Exactly right! It's all about real justice in society, and real objectively practiced Christianity is the way in which that comes into being. It helps to create the closest thing to the Kingdom of God in this world because it entails all believers living out their faith in ways that are unmistakeable witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. Think parable of the Good Samaritan here...
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A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance. In other words, there would no longer be any real place for God in the world.
There's nothing in that that needs anything from me...except to take it to heart and live it.
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Without truth, charity is confined to a narrow field devoid of relations. It is excluded from the plans and processes of promoting human development of universal range, in dialogue between knowledge and praxis.
You just saw His Holiness essentially say, "Walk the walk. Don't just talk the talk."
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  #13  
Old Jul 31, '09, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Okay...Let's read and discuss Caritas in Veritate.

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Originally Posted by TerryLynn_SeKr View Post
Thank you so much Michael for breaking this into small pieces that I can read and pray over.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks Terry.

I know I have to read it all, and I think it's only in going through it like this that we can both learn from it and be prepared to discuss/defend it as needed. One thing this will do is make it difficult for anyone to take stuff out of context and misconstrue it without one of us being able to step up and deal with it.
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