The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day

3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

-St. Paul to Philippians

Monday, June 4, 2007

Faith in the Triune God

On the occasion of the Feast of Most Holy Trinity I would like to propose this reflection given about the Triune God in 2004. It concludes with a point on Lublev Icon:

God is One and Three: he is not an eternal solitude; rather, he is an
eternal love that is based on the reciprocity of the Persons, a love that is the
first cause, the origin, and the foundation of all being and of every form of
life. Unity engendered by love, trinitarian unity, is a unity infinitely more profound
than the unity of a building stone, indivisible as that may be from a material
perspective.This supreme unity is not rigidly static; it is love. The most
beautiful artistic depiction of this mystery was left to us by Andrei Rublev in
the fifteenth century: the world-renowned icon of the Trinity. Of course, it
does not portray the eternal mystery of God in himself, who would dare to do
that? It attempts, rather, to represent this mystery as it is reflected in the
gift of itself in history, as in the visit of the three men to Abraham by the
oaks of Mamre (Gen 18:1-33). Abraham immediately recognized that they were not
just like any other men, but that God himself was coming to him through them.In
Rublev's icon, the mystery of this event is made visible, presented as an event
that can be contemplated in its many dimensions: thus the mystery as such is
respected. The artistic richness of this icon allows me to underscore another
characteristic: the natural surroundings of this event, which express the
mystery of the Persons. We are near the oaks of Mamre, which Rublev depicts in
stylized form as a single tree representing the tree of life; and this tree of
life is none other than the trinitarian love that created the world, sustains
it, saves it, and is the source of all life. We see also the tent, the dwelling
of Abraham, which recalls the Prologue of John's Gospel: "And the Word became
flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14).The body of the incarnate Word of God became
itself the tent, the place where God dwells: God becomes our refuge and our
dwelling place. Finally, the gift that Abraham offers, "a calf, tender and
good", is replaced, in the icon, with a cup, a symbol of the Eucharist, a sign
of the gift in which God gives himself: "Love, sacrifice, and self-immolation
preceded the act by which the world was created and are the source of that
creation." [1] The tree, the tent, and the cup: these elements show us the
mystery of God, allow us to immerse ourselves in the contemplation of its
intimate depths, in his trinitarian love. This is the God that we celebrate.
This is the God who gives us joy. He is the true hope of our world. Amen.
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