I've started reading Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, Deus Cartias Est, and it is a very well-written, and very inspirational work! I am overjoyed that our new pope is continuing and developing some of the main issues approached in Pope John Paul II's papacy, especially love (what this encyclical's all about!).
From the second paragraph:
We have come to believe in God's love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. (Read more...)
The Pope begins his first encyclical outlining the basic fact of Christian life. I am glad he has done so, because many Catholics, especially so-called 'Cradle Catholics' (who have been baptized Catholic as babies), do not understand, or do not care to understand, why they have faith in Jesus Christ and are members of his Body on Earth (namely, the Church).
The answer, as Pope Benedict writes, is simply "love." Love gives us all we need to live. God's love is essential for all people, and we must be open and accepting of His love in all ways. So many people do not understand the simple (but most important) virtue of love. Hopefully this encyclical will be the light for many people to open up their faith lives to a whole new level of love (it is certainly helpful for me... and I haven't even finished reading it!).
Upon our foundational understanding and acceptance of God's love, our relationships with others are built and strengthened, and we are given the opportunity to pour out our love for others as Christ did for us on the cross. Unfortunately, for many people, 'love' is something simple—it is not united to God's love and becomes something animalistic. We must work to promote the true love of God, especially in our society and cultures.