Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ratzinger and Lewis...

an interview with journalist Andrea Monda in today's Zenit.
Q: What are the affinities between Pope Benedict XVI and the British writer?

Monda: It is known that the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger read and appreciated several works of the writer C.S. Lewis … and every now and then traces of that experience also appear in the texts of Pope Benedict XVI, including in the encyclical "Deus Caritas Est."

Q: In what passages in particular?

Monda: Above all in the decision to place love at the center of his reflection, essence of Christian doctrine and, especially, in having dedicated the first part of the encyclical to the comparison and distinction between "eros" and "agape," with a brief allusion to "philia."

It is quite likely that the Supreme Pontiff recalled Lewis' splendid 1960 essay on "The Four Loves," in which the writer analyzes four kinds of love: affection; friendship -- "philia"; and, specifically, eros and charity -- "agape."
(It's interesting to note how all the three homiles I've heard in Rome -- at St. Peter's on Sunday at Mass, at the vespers at St. Paul Outside-the-Walls later that day, and at the stational Mass at S. Pietro in Vincolo -- have referred to the Pope's new encyclical. It certainly provides much to ruminate on!)

1 comment:

chez said...

interesting. The "four loves" is a very good read, i enjoyed reading it and i want to re-read it sometime soon. What makes it even more precious is that Pope John Paul loved it!