Fratelli Tutti 94: Love is More Than Benevolence

94. Love, then, is more than just a series of benevolent actions. Those actions have their source in a union increasingly directed towards others, considering them of value, worthy, pleasing and beautiful apart from their physical or moral appearances. Our love for others, for who they are, moves us to seek the best for their lives. Only by cultivating this way of relating to one another will we make possible a social friendship that excludes no one and a fraternity that is open to all.

The distinction we discussed a few days ago is vital here. A person can commit objectively good acts, but with a motivation for personal gain. True love, true charity cannot be a gesture of utility. Certainly, human motivation is never pure. But in cooperating with God, we can experience a certain “teamwork,” especially when our efforts involve some kind of sacrifice on our part in order to help another person to something of the best they can be. 

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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