Moral living (love)

Love forms the focus, the rationale and the foundation for moral living.
How has the meaning of love expanded ???


Jesus commanded us to love not only God, our family and our neighbour but everyone else including those who hate and persecute us. He even loved, forgave and prayed for His torturers and executioners. No human being would or could have done that without divine grace.

To piggyback onto what tonyrey said, the meaning of love expands in individuals as they grow in the knowledge of God. We have testimonies about this love by many who’ve been given profound direct experience of Gods’ presence in some manner or another. But those are individual and ineffable experiences in the end, and yet ones that’re still worth conveying to encourage others and add to the understanding of God as love.

And His love in any case expands in the hearts of believers and is witnessed to as they make strides in social justice, for example, or feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, accepting and loving the outcast. I think the light of the gospel shines brighter than ever now in our world even as darkness seems to be growing in power as well.

I am unsure from which angle you are coming from. For example (in respect of love expanded) you could take the difference, or analysis, between ‘eros’ and ‘agape’ - as our current Pope touched upon in one of his encyclicals - difficult though.

Benedict did a daring thing in Deus Caritas Est.

He said that God’s love is both eros and agape.

Since Nygren, it has been customary to separate eros and agape - because eros is driven by lack, by incompletion - and, of course, God is not incomplete, is not lacking.

However, according to Benedict, there is a divine eros - albeit an eros not based on finitude or need.

In short, God takes “delight” in us.

Think of it this way. Wouldn’t it be strange if someone said “I love you but I do not like you.”

I totally agree that Benedict did a daring thing; in fact I would go further and thought that he was rather hoping to tease-out some responses in that respect. Didn’t see anything in the press about that angle though and was rather disappointed by responses/evaluations etc. You are the first person I have read that has attempted a follow up comment to that side of his encyclical.

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