Pope Benedict's new Encyclical letter, God Is Love, was released yesterday morning. The encyclical articluates the Church's understanding of divine love, how human love reflects that, and how the Church's mission is to make God's love present in the world theologically and pastorally.
The encyclical begins:
“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). These words from the First Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. In the same verse, Saint John also offers a kind of summary of the Christian life: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”.
We have come to believe in God's love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction...
I am still reading and trying to digest the document, so I won't try to give any analysis or comment. But I will say that I am very excited by what I'm reading.
You can read the encyclical here at the Vatican website, or download it here as a PDF file.