The smiling Pope

Dateline: Sun 20 Apr 2008

What a pleasure to see Pope Benedict XVI in New York, at Yankee Stadium no less. With 60,000 "fans," and a lot of those glorious pope colors: golden yellow and white.

His visage brings to mind an old verse: "Like a candle in a holy place, such is the beauty of an aged face."

His dark, thoughtful eyes and his slightly dark circles under those eyes make him interesting to watch, but most of all, it's his smile: he looks like a little boy with a smile that is pure joy and happiness.

This was a pope who had some of us worried. He was the German, the disciplinarian under emotionally generous, loving Pope John Paul; he was too strict, he would take us back a few steps. But his two encyclicals have been written on the two greatest topics of all time, hope and love.

In 2005, in "Deus caritas est," ("God is love," he wrote, "In a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence, this message is both timely and significant. For this reason, I wish in my first Encyclical to speak of the love which God lavishes upon us and which we in turn must share with others."

There's also quite a bit about Eros in there. You can read it yourself.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi_en.html

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