1. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23617
    06 May '06 03:45
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_20060504_vesakh2006_en.html


    PONTIFICAL COUNCIL
    FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

    MESSAGE TO BUDDHISTS
    FOR THE FEAST OF VESAKH 2006

    Buddhists and Christians at the Service of Humanity



    Dear Buddhist Friends,

    1. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue I offer to you and to all Buddhist communities around the world my very best wishes for Vesakh. I hope that you may have a joyful feast.

    2. As is now customary, I would like to take this occasion to share with you some thoughts which may help to strengthen the relations between our two communities. This year these reflections are based on Pope Benedict XVI's first letter to Catholics throughout the world. This letter, God is Love, or according to its Latin title Deus caritas est (DCE), examines the nature of love. His Holiness the Pope is convinced that this word, so frequently used and yet so often misunderstood, needs to have its true meaning restored in order to become a beacon of light for everyday life.

    3. Pope Benedict speaks about two types of love: first eros, the love between a man and a woman, a love which seeks personal satisfaction; then agape, a love which seeks the good of the other, although that person may not be liked or even not known. For Christians this second type of love is only possible if it is grounded in love for God, in response to God's love for human beings. So love of God and love of one's fellow human beings are inseparable, forming one single commandment. "Love grows through love. Love is 'divine' because it comes from God and unites us to God" (DCE 18).

    4. We Christians believe that the perfect manifestation of agape is founded on Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, who spent his whole life spreading the Good News of God's love in both words and deeds. The ultimate expression of this love was when Jesus gave his life for the whole of humanity. Moreover Jesus is the source of agape, in particular through the gift of himself in the Eucharist. Drawing from this source, Christians strive to follow in the footsteps of Jesus by showing love for their brothers and sisters, especially for the poor and suffering.

    5. Through our dialogue we have come to appreciate the importance that you Buddhists give to love for one’s fellow human beings which is expressed in the concept of metta, a love without any desire to possess but only to help others. It is understood as a love which is willing to sacrifice self-interest for the benefit of humanity. So metta, according to Buddhist teaching, is not confined to benevolent thought, but extends to the performance of charitable deeds, to the service of one and all. It is indeed a universal benevolence. Nor should one forget that other virtue, karuna, through which is shown loving compassion for all living beings.

    6. In this world where the word love is so often used and misused would it not be useful for Buddhists and Christians to rediscover its original meaning according to their respective traditions and to share their understanding with one another? This would be an encouragement for the followers of both traditions to work together to build up relations based on love and truth, to promote mutual respect, to foster dialogue and to further collaboration in the service of those who are in need.

    7. These considerations lead me to a final wish, namely that the feast of Vesakh may be a time when the friendship between Buddhists and Christians is consolidated and collaboration in the spirit of agape and metta is strengthened. In this spirit I wish you a very Happy Vesakh.
  2. Joined
    24 Apr '05
    Moves
    3061
    06 May '06 09:12
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_20060504_vesakh2006_en.html


    PONTIFICAL COUNCIL
    FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

    MESSAGE TO BUDDHISTS
    FOR THE FEAST OF VESAKH 2006

    Buddhists and Christians at the Service of Humanity



    Dear Buddhist Friends,

    1. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Inte ...[text shortened]... pirit of agape and metta is strengthened. In this spirit I wish you a very Happy Vesakh.
    'agape [=] a love which seeks the good of the other, although that person may not be liked or even not known.'

    'For Christians [agape] is only possible if it is grounded in love for God...'

    'So love of God and love of one's fellow human beings are inseparable...'

    'Jesus is the source of agape...' (emphasis added)



    These claims imply that belief in and love for the Christian God are requisite for one to demonstrate the type of selfless love designated by the term 'agape'. This seems clearly false to me. For example, any Buddhist who demonstrates 'metta' also demonstrates that the above claims are false. More generally, any non-Christian who demonstrates selfless, deed-oriented love for others also demonstrates that these claims are false. For one to demonstrate the type of selfless love that many Christians may also demonstrate, it is sufficient to hold a compassionate and active concern for the welfare of others. Exactly how does lack of love for the Christian God necessarily preclude this perspective? By extension, if an atheist were to exhibit seemingly good and charitable deeds in the selfless pursuit of the welfare of a fellow person, is this goodness and charitableness merely illusory?

    Concerning the primary topic here: yeah, whatever. I find it difficult to see what new 'understanding' the Christian perspective will be able to share with the Buddhists. Exactly how can one expect to integrate the above claims with any non-Christian perspective when these claims naturally imply that any non-Christian perspective is false?
  3. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
    Tha Brotha Hood
    Joined
    13 Dec '04
    Moves
    49088
    06 May '06 19:101 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_20060504_vesakh2006_en.html


    PONTIFICAL COUNCIL
    FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

    MESSAGE TO BUDDHISTS
    FOR THE FEAST OF VESAKH 2006

    Buddhists and Christians at the Service of Humanity



    Dear Buddhist Friends,

    1. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Inte pirit of agape and metta is strengthened. In this spirit I wish you a very Happy Vesakh.
    The unwritten postscript, which the Pope would surely affirm:

    8. Finally, my Buddhist friends, forget not that Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,"and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"

    http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/art12.html
    Section 1034
  4. Donationbbarr
    Chief Justice
    Center of Contention
    Joined
    14 Jun '02
    Moves
    17381
    06 May '06 19:43
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    " For Christians this second type of love is only possible if it is grounded in love for God, in response to God's love for human beings."
    How unfortunate for you.
  5. Donationkirksey957
    Outkast
    With White Women
    Joined
    31 Jul '01
    Moves
    91452
    06 May '06 23:02
    Originally posted by bbarr
    How unfortunate for you.
    Bennett, could you challenge us Christians with a message to us from a Buddhist?
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