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    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    We have an unusual religion


    Continuing his series of audience talks about the apostles, Pope Benedict focused on the Gospel and letters of St. John and, particularly, on the evangelist's affirmation that God is love."

    It is very difficult to find texts of this kind in other religions," the pope said. For John, love is the definition of God, he said.

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    "John does not limit himself to describing divine action," the pope said. "He does not simply affirm that 'God loves' or even less that 'love is God.'"

    For St. John, he said, love is God's essence, and every action of God flows from love and is marked by love "even if we cannot always understand immediately that this is love, true love."

    But love is not an abstraction, it must be "direct, concrete and even verifiable," the pope said.

    In Jesus' incarnation, life, death and resurrection, God's love for all humanity has been verified, he said."

    He did not limit himself to verbal declarations, but committed himself and paid the price in person," Pope Benedict said.

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