“A wonderful feeling” is the expression found in number 1 of the basic text of the Pontifical Academy for Life, entitled “A Theological Ethics of Life” published in 2022. The document includes several examples of experiences of joy to introduce an ethic of life. But what joy and what life are we talking about? While it is obviously legitimate to experience joy also through feelings, Christian joy cannot be reduced to a feeling. How can joy be a criterion for developing an ethic of life? We will first take up the notions of “life” and “joy” from a theological and biblical perspective so as to extract from them some criteria for discernment also to relate to certain questions addressed in the document of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
As Pope Francis points out, a true pastoral and missionary conversion is urgently needed. In order to offer an accurate assessment of the present situation of the Church’s pastoral ministry, and to offer an effective proposal for renewal, it is necessary to consider first of all the pastoral care of Christ, the Good Shepherd. We will take Jesus’ dialogue with the Samaritan woman as our inspiration. We hope to show that for the grace of Christ to illuminate and transform our hearts and societies, we need an evangelizing pastoral care rooted in the truth of love. What was Jesus’ pastoral approach when addressing the Samaritan woman? The Lord “addressed her desire for true love, in order to free her from the darkness in her life and to bring her to the full joy of the Gospel” (Amoris Laetitia, n. 294). In this key passage of St. John’s Gospel, the truth of love is presented as an indispensable element and the guiding thread of Jesus’ pastoral ministry.
The booklet here presented: "Ti sarò vicino. Sulle tracce di Edith Stein: empatia e incontro col morente" ["I shall be close to you. On the footsteps of Edith Stein: empathy and the encounter with the dying"] by Guido Miccinesi encourages us to interpret our fear of death in the light of our love for life. And we love life to the extent that there are people in it whom we love and inasmuch as we know ourselves to be loved. The main concern of the dying, then, turns out not to be so much different from the main concern of the living. In fact, there would seem to be a strict correspondence between our way of living and our way of dying. We want to love and be loved.
What is our body? Who is our body? In the light of the John Paul II’s Catecheses on human love, one comes to see that the body is the epiphany of our person: made in the image of God, redeemed by Christ and called to find its full meaning in the total gift of self. And, as God never ceases to pour His love unto us, we thus receive, in Christ, a new measure of human love, that we were eternally destined to receive: to be capable of loving one another with the very same love of our Redeemer.
The two stories collected in "Diarios de Adán y Eva" by Mark Twain were written in 1893 and 1905 respectively. Although there is more than ten years difference in their composition, Twain thought it most appropriate to publish them together because of their obvious connections. This first occurred in 1906 in the collection of short stories entitled "The $30 000 Bequest." For Twain Eden is not a place but a person. As the author of the Letter to the Ephesians suggests, husband and wife are meant to be for each other signs of this Person, who is heaven (cf. Eph 5:31-32). Mark Twain stopped at the sign, seeking salvation in human love without connecting it to divine love. But in turning to the sign, he inevitably, perhaps in spite of himself, also touched the greater reality, for which the love of the two is a sacrament: an efficacious sign that already mysteriously contains the reality it signifies.
The pandemic obstructs our breathing, not only physiologically through the sometimes-lethal effects of the COVID-19 viral disease, but also socially and humanly through the fear provoked by social isolation. ... The family is the place where we can begin to breathe again, within those foundational relationships that give us identity and reveal our role in the world, generating new social relationships.