Monday, January 30, 2006

I Finally Read Deus Caritas Est

Unlike many Catholic bloggers, I always have found John Paul II's writing to be much easier to read than Benedict XVI's. When I read the encyclical about the rosary, I sped through it and read it twice more just because I loved it so much. That set me upon a session of looking for other encyclicals to read, which was most enlightening.

There is just something about Benedict's style that leaves me feeling as if I have been reading a rather plodding textbook. This is not really a reflection on the Holy Father's writing as much as it displays my own tastes and lack of depth. I find that I really relate to his off the cuff comments so much more than his written reflections.

I was sorry to find that this encyclical was no exception.

It is definitely good, definitely much needed ... this look at divine love and it's manifestation within us and in our lives. However, mostly I struggled as I read it, and did not get interested until the very end when Benedict was talking about the saints and Mary. As much as I love B-16, obviously we don't "click" when he is in writing. Pity. But there you have it.

Here is a bit of something that did set me "on fire."
Mary is a woman of hope: only because she believes in God's promises and awaits the salvation of Israel, can the angel visit her and call her to the decisive service of these promises. Mary is a woman of faith: "Blessed are you who believed", Elizabeth says to her (cf. Lk 1:45). The Magnificat--a portrait, so to speak, of her soul--is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture, threads drawn from the Word of God. Here we see how completely at home Mary is with the Word of God, with ease she moves in and out of it. She speaks and thinks with the Word of God; the Word of God becomes her word, and her word issues from the Word of God. Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God, how her will is one with the will of God. Since Mary is completely imbued with the Word of God, she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate.

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