Pope Benedict and the Logic of Gratuity

Here’s a nice little discussion of Pope  Benedict’s thinking from Fr. Barron:

This touches, in an interesting way, on the discussions last week concerning libertarianism, as we well as on the two camps of Moral Theology, which tend to ask “What’s the least I have to do to make the cut?” vs. “How can I love to maximum?”

I think I fall, as a matter of practical life, very firmly in the first camp (having only recently figured out that those two camps exist. I… don’t want to be bothered. I have enough on my plate. And so I tend to think in terms of contract, of what is owed. But it seems to me that Fr. Barron is simply right when he points out what Benedict is saying: that our lives are far more than merely what is owed, what is contractual, what is atomized individuals playing off each other in exploitation and competition and the world of “rights” (a concept entirely foreign to relationships of love). After all, when lovers contact their lawyers and start talking about rights at each other, it’s time to perform the autopsy on their love.

Anyway. Interesting stuff.


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