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Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore carritas by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity.
Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.
Sur la Lettre Encyclique “Caritas in Veritate”
Each person finds his good carjtas adherence to God’s plan for him, in order to realize it fully: To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us.
In Fncyclique, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth cf. Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, encyclisue to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law cf.
It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships with friends, with family members or within small groups but also of macro-relationships social, economic and political ones.
For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches cf. Love is God’s greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope. Encycliue am aware of caitas ways in which charity has been vetitate continues to be misconstrued and emptied of meaning, with the consequent risk of being misinterpreted, detached from ethical living and, in any event, undervalued. In the social, juridical, cultural, political and economic fields — the contexts, in other words, that are most verittate to this danger — it encycpique easily dismissed as irrelevant for interpreting and giving direction to moral responsibility.
Hence the need to link charity with truth not only in the sequence, pointed out by Saint Paul, of veritas in caritate Eph 4: In this way, not only do we do a service to charity enlightened by truth, veritae we also help give credibility to truth, demonstrating its persuasive and authenticating power in the practical setting of social living.
This is a matter of no small account today, in a social and cultural context which relativizes truth, often paying little heed to it and showing increasing reluctance to acknowledge its existence. Through this close link with truth, charity can be recognized as an authentic expression of humanity and as an element of fundamental importance in human relations, including those of a public nature.
Only in truth does charity shine forthonly in truth can charity be authentically lived.
Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space.
Charity and Truth, Love and Word. Because it is filled with truth, charity can be understood in the abundance of caritws values, it can be shared and communicated. Cartas, by enabling men and women to let go of their subjective opinions and impressions, allows them to move beyond cultural and historical limitations and to come together in the assessment of the value and substance of things.
In the present social and cultural ln, where there is a widespread tendency to relativize truth, practising charity in truth helps people to understand that adhering to the values of Christianity is not merely useful but essential for building a good society and for true integral human development.
A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance. In other words, there would no longer be any encycliqye place veritte God in the world. Without truth, charity is confined to a narrow field devoid of relations. It is excluded from the veditate and processes of promoting human development of universal range, in dialogue between knowledge and praxis.
Charity is love received and given. Its source is the wellspring of the Father’s love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit.
Love comes down to us from the Son. It is creative love, through which we have our being; it is redemptive love, through which encyclisue are recreated.
Love is revealed and made present by Christ cf. As the objects of God’s love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God’s charity and to weave networks of charity.
This dynamic of charity received vsritate given is what gives rise to the Church’s social teaching, which is caritas in veritate in re sociali: This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity’s power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. Evritate is at the same time the truth of faith ebcyclique of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth.
What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present.
I would like to consider two of these in particular, of special relevance to the commitment to development in an increasingly globalized society: First of all, justice. Ubi societas, ibi ius: If we love others with charity, then first of all we are just towards them.
Not only is justice not extraneous to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel path to charity: On the one hand, charity demands justice: It strives to build the earthly city according to law and justice.
On the other hand, charity transcends justice and completes it in the logic of giving and forgiving . The earthly city is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater and more fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness, mercy and communion.
Charity always manifests God’s love in human relationships as well, it gives theological and salvific value to all commitment for justice in the world.
Another important consideration is the common good. To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it.
Besides the good of ceritate individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: It is a good that is sought not for its own sake, but for the people who belong to the social community and who can only really and effectively pursue their good within it.
To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them.
When animated by charity, commitment to the common good has greater worth than a merely secular and political stand would have. Like all commitment to justice, it has a place within the veritats of divine charity that paves the way for eternity through temporal action.
Man’s earthly activity, ib inspired and sustained by charity, contributes to the building of the universal city of Godwhich is the goal of the history of the human family. In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God.
Inwhen he issued the Encyclical Populorum Progressiomy venerable predecessor Pope Paul VI illuminated the great theme of the development of peoples with the splendour of truth and vwritate gentle light of Christ’s charity.
He taught that life in Christ is the first and principal factor of development  and he entrusted us with the task of travelling the path of development with all our heart and all our intelligence that is to say with the ardour of charity and the wisdom of truth. At a distance of over forty years from the Encyclical’s publication, I intend to pay tribute and to honour the memory of the great Pope Paul VI, revisiting his teachings on integral human development and taking my place within the path that they marked out, so as to apply them to the present moment.
This continual application to contemporary circumstances began with the Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialiswith which the Servant of God Pope John Paul II chose to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Populorum Progressio. Until that time, only Rerum Novarum had been commemorated in this way.
Love in truth — caritas in veritate — is a great challenge for the Church in a world that is becoming progressively and pervasively globalized. The risk for our time is that the de facto interdependence veritte people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development.
Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faithis it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value. The sharing of goods and resources, from which authentic development proceeds, is not guaranteed by merely technical progress and relationships of utility, but by the potential of love that overcomes evil with good cf.
Without truth, it is easy cairtas fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack encycliqu interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truthwhich alone is the guarantee of freedom cf. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims encycliqur tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce.
Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church’s social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations . A fresh reading of Populorum Progressiomore than forty years after its publication, invites us to remain faithful to its message of charity and truth, viewed within the overall context of Paul VI’s specific magisterium and, more generally, within the tradition of the Church’s social doctrine.
Moreover, an evaluation is needed of the different terms encycliquf which the problem of development is presented today, as compared with forty years ago. The correct viewpoint, then, is that of the Tradition of the apostolic faith a patrimony both ancient and new, outside of which Populorum Progressio would be a document without roots — and issues concerning development would be reduced to merely sociological data.
Caritas in veritate (June 29, ) | BENEDICT XVI
The publication of Populorum Progressio occurred encycliqeu after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, and in its opening paragraphs it clearly indicates its close connection with the Council . The Council probed more deeply what had always encylcique to the truth of the faith, namely that the Church, being at God’s service, is at the service of the world in terms of love and truth. Paul VI set out from this vision in order to convey two important truths.
The first is that the whole Church, in all her being and acting — when she proclaims, when she celebrates, when she performs works of charity — is engaged in promoting integral human development.
She has a public role over and above her charitable and educational activities: In not a few cases, that freedom is impeded by prohibitions and persecutions, or encycliqud is limited when the Church’s public presence is reduced to her charitable activities alone.
The second truth is that authentic human development concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension . Without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in this world is denied breathing-space. Enclosed within history, it runs the risk of being reduced to the mere accumulation of wealth; humanity thus loses the courage to be at the service of higher goods, at the service of the great and disinterested initiatives called forth by universal charity.
Man does not develop through his own powers, nor can development simply be handed to him. In the course of history, it was often maintained that the creation of institutions was sufficient to guarantee the fulfilment of humanity’s right to development. Unfortunately, too much carutas was placed in those institutions, as if they were able to deliver the desired objective automatically. In wncyclique, institutions by themselves are not enough, because integral human development is primarily a vocation, and therefore it involves a free assumption of responsibility in solidarity on the part of everyone.
Moreover, such development requires a transcendent vision of the person, it needs God: