Fratelli Tutti 181: The Synthesis of the Law

Today, Pope Benedict is in the lead-off position:

181. Every commitment inspired by the Church’s social doctrine is “derived from charity, which according to the teaching of Jesus is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36-40)”. [Caritas in Veritate2]

Love of God, love of neighbor. Jesus made it quite simple, but at times we pile on too much. Pope Francis elaborates:

This means acknowledging that “love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world”. [Laudato Si’ 231]

I think the Holy Father is correct to nudge people toward a politics that engages love. And as my friend Liam often cites, love is primarily an act of will, not an emotion. People make decisions to work for the common good. We choose to love God, and we choose to love other people. Love is not limited to the people we know well, either:

For this reason, charity finds expression not only in close and intimate relationships but also in “macro-relationships: social, economic and political”. [Caritas in Veritate 2]

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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