SINGAPORE - God's love is the right kind of love, said Father Clifford Augustine, ofm, in a talk on "Deus Caritas Est" he gave to about 50 people at CANA - The Catholic Centre on Mar 17.
During the talk, Father Clifford expounded on Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical from a purely pastoral perspective, stressing on the importance of loving God and loving others in the right kind of way.
"If you want to see the Trinity, do charity," he told the attentive participants, "not the kind that makes you feel good, but the kind that makes the other person the object of your love."
Although Lily Chew, from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, has read other books written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict), she hasn't read the new encyclical because she "decided to learn what others had to say about it first."
Andrew Ng, a Franciscan postulant also benefited from the talk as he is now better able to relate the final blessing given at Mass to how "love has to translate to action", as explained during the talk on the second part of the encyclical.
Jeanette Lee, 24, from the Mustard Seed community in the Church of St. Francis Xavier, said that she "initially found the encyclical complex", but that Father Clifford's talk "gave a good summary of what the encyclical is about" and that reading the encyclical now would be easier and clearer.
In addition, she has come to understand that "charity is not giving an extension of yourself, but giving yourself."
"Deus Caritas Est" was promulgated on Jan 25 this year. The encyclical reflects on the concepts of "eros" (the love between a man and a woman), "agape" (unconditional, self-sacrificing love), "logos" (the word), and their relationship with the teachings of Jesus.
It is the first encyclical to be published since the Vatican decided to assert copyright in the official writings of the Pope.