Discussion questions on Deus Caritas Est, Part II and Conclusion
What happened to eros and agape? (The word "agape" appears twice in Part II, once in a reference to Ignatius of Antioch describing "the Church of Rome as 'presiding in charity (agape)'," once in the construct "caritas-agape"; the word "eros" is absent.)
Why the history lesson from Acts through Julian, etc.?
n. 25: "The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia), and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable." • Would we have gotten this right on a test?
28a: "Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God.... But it is also a purifying force for reason itself." • Do Catholics believe this? Do we live this?
n 29: "The Church has an indirect duty [in the formation of just structures], in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run. The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society, on the other hand, is proper to the lay faithful." • How are the Church's indirect duty and the lay faithful's direct duty to work for a just ordering of society playing out these days?
n. 31b: "Christian charitable activity must be independent of parties and ideologies." • How do we manage that?
n. 31c: "A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak." • Do we know? How?
n. 36: "When we consider the immensity of others' needs, we can, on the one hand, be driven towards an ideology that would aim at doing what God's governance of the world apparently cannot: fully resolving every problem. Or we can be tempted to give in to inertia, since it would seem that in any event nothing can be accomplished. At such times, a living relationship with Christ is decisive if we are to keep on the right path...." • Is "fully resolving every problem" or "to give in to inertia" a temptation for you?
n. 37: “"t is time to reaffirm the importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work." • How can we do this?
n. 41: "[Mary] speaks and thinks with the Word of God; the Word of God becomes her word, and her word issues from the Word of God." • What can Mary teach us about eros, agape, and caritas?