Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The cover letter ...

... to the Encyclical. Sandro Magister translates this unprecedented "cover letter" that went out with the latest issue of Famiglia Cristiana (a popular Catholic weekly in Italy), explaining why he wrote the encyclical.

How lovable can this man get?

Besides, what he writes is simply gorgeous. English translation by the Catholic Outsider.
The first question is this: Is it truly possible to love God? And moreover: Can love be imposed? Isn’t it a feeling that we either have or not?

The answer to the first question is: yes, we can love God, since he has not remained at an unreachable distance, but has entered and is entering in our life. He comes to us, to each one of us, in the sacraments through which he operates in our existence, with the faith of the Church, through which he addresses us; letting Himself be found by men, which have been touched by Him and transmit His light; with the event with which he intervenes in our lives; with the signs of creation, which he has given us. He has not only offered us his love, be he lived it first and knocks in so many ways in our hearts to awake our responsive love. Love is not just a feeling; will and intelligence belong as well to it. With his word, God addresses our intelligence, our will and our feelings in a way that we can learn how to love him “with all the heart and all the soul.” Love, in fact is not found beautiful, but it grows. In a sense, we can learn it slowly in a way that it will embrace more and more all of our strength and open to us the way to a straight life.

[snip]

And finally there is the question: with his commandments and prohibitions is not the Church making bitter the joy of the Eros, of being loved, that pushes us to the other in the desire to become a union?

In the encyclical I have tried to demonstrate that the deeper promise of the eros can grow only when we don’t seek to grab a sudden happiness. On the contrary, we find together the patience of discovering the other in a deeper way, in the fullness of body and soul, in a way that, at the end, the other’s happiness becomes more important than mine one. Then we not only want to grab, but to give, and is in this liberation from the self that man finds himself and becomes fulfilled with joy. In the encyclical ’encyclical I speak of a road of purification and growth that are necessary to fulfill the true promise of the eros. The language of our tradition has call it “education for Chastity”, which at the end, it doesn’t mean anything else but the learning of full love in the patience of growing up.
You know, this is just awesome! Besides I've read and re-read the Encyclical so many times. There's so much there.

And apparently, there's a special edition of the encyclical being put out by Cantagalli (a fine Italian publisher, one might add). And you know what, it's selling 3000 a day.

It just makes one wants to give a big raspberry to those sniffy theologians who said that this thing is lightweight and would be ignored. Well, you know, 'cause the Pope didn't immediately rush to the latest Cause of Progress and Enlightenment.

Now how do I get my hands on that Cantagalli edition ... oh wait. I'm trying to get rid of stuff before heading to the novitiate ... :-)

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