Pope Benedict XVI is about to release his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est
(God Is Love
). It’s due out January 25.
Speaking January 18, he said
, "In this encyclical I want to explain the concept of love in its various dimensions. In today's terminology, the meaning of love often is far from that which we know as Christians."
"The church as church, as a community in its institutions, must love," he said.
While not specifically focused on ecumenism, he said the encyclical's foundation is ecumenical because "God's love and our love is the condition for unity among Christians and for peace in the world."
Wow. The man who was once labeled the “Grand Inquisitor” for his work under Pope John Paul II, who was feared for years, and whose election as pope was greeted with dread in some circles, is issuing a message to the whole world.
A message about love.
As I read about God is Love,
I suddenly had a flashback. (No, not the kind brought on by certain, um, “experimentation” I did when I was young and stupid.)
On June 25, 1967, the Beatles performed on the first ever live global television link. Some 350 million people watched them perform their new song, “All You Need it Love.”
“Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.”
Those who spend their time analyzing pop songs have pointed to the spirituality that can be read into the song.
“No one you can save that can't be saved.” – Salvation!
There's nothing you can know that isn't known. – God knows all.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown. - God sees all.
And there’s that message of togetherness (“All together now”).
The broadcast – and the song – are credited with helping to launch the hippie movement, giving them a slogan.
“Love is all you need.”
Could Pope Benedict’s encyclical have a similar effect, helping to launch a world-wide Catholic version of the hippie movement?
The roots are already there.
The Church is countercultural, after all.
We have our own version of Love Beads – the Rosary.
We have Little Flower Power.
We believe in love and unity among all people.
We believe in worshiping together.
We believe in communal living.
We burn incense.
We have a Sign of Peace.
We believe in salvation.
And think of the connections.
John and Paul are credited with giving us the song. John Paul II gave us Pope Benedict.
June 25. January 25.
Both Benedict and Beatles begin with B.
Far out, man. It's Karma.