The second post sharing Church teaching on health and social care. Pope Benedict XVI, in his Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est – God is Love, discusses what an assertion about Love means when we come to those who work in serving their fellow human beings.
Reflection – Love, not just competence
While professional competence is a primary, fundamental requirement, it is not of itself sufficient. We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern.
Those who work for the Church’s charitable organizations must be distinguished by the fact that they do not merely meet the needs of the moment, but they dedicate themselves to others with heartfelt concern, enabling them to experience the richness of their humanity.
Consequently, in addition to their necessary professional training, these charity workers need a “formation of the heart”: they need to be led to that encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others.
As a result, love of neighbour will no longer be for them a commandment imposed, so to speak, from without, but a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which becomes active through love (cf. Gal 5:6).
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, paragraph 31