Supreme Knight Extols an Anthropology of Love

Carl Anderson Addresses Synod

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The head of the Knights of Columbus told the Synod of Bishops that the Church can overcome present-day relativism with the proclamation of God’s love for each person.

Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the U.S.-based Catholic men’s fraternal benefit society and an auditor at the synod, cited some of Benedict XVI’s first addresses in which he stated that “man is created in the image of God, and God himself is love. For this reason, the vocation to love is what makes man the authentic image of God.”

“This call of a vocation to love is the anthropological basis of Pope John Paul II’s teaching on the dignity of the human person, marriage and the family,” Anderson said in his address Wednesday to about 250 bishops.

“Perhaps only this ‘anthropology of love’ is strong enough to overcome the nihilism of contemporary culture, that is, a culture that has broken the connection between freedom and truth,” said Anderson. “Descartes sought centuries ago to overcome philosophical relativism by the assertion, ‘I think, therefore I am.’

“Perhaps today relativism can be overcome by a simple and yet more profound insight, ‘I love, therefore I am.’ Or even better, ‘I have been loved, therefore I am.'”

Re-connected

Anderson continued: “In our time it may be only through the truth of love that the truth of freedom can once again be understood and freedom can be re-connected to truth. Every person is searching for a love that is true. And in this search for true love, each person in his or her heart can grasp whether love is true, and in this truth can grasp a basic truth of the human person.”

“But in a culture of materialism, secularism and relativism where can one find the reality of true love?” asked the American. “In our increasingly postmodern culture of the West, philosophical reasoning has less and less persuasive force. Yet all people still search for love, since the vocation to love is written in the heart of each person.

“We know that the love for which we search is available every day in Our Lord’s living sacrifice of himself present to us in the Eucharist.”

Anderson then referred to the Second Vatican Council’s pastoral constitution.

“‘Gaudium et Spes’ tells us ‘it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear,'” he said. “Is it not also then possible that in our time it is the mystery of the Lord’s holy sacrifice of himself that the identity of man — his value, his dignity, his true vocation and the profound truth of his existence — is revealed?”

“Thus, the Eucharistic ecclesiology and the Eucharistic community that have so often been mentioned during this meeting pre-suppose a Eucharistic anthropology. Through the exploration of a Eucharistic vision of the human person — centered on the loving sacrifice of Our Lord in the Mass — we may find a new catechism of the Eucharist which will at the same time make possible a new evangelical gift: by uniting man more intimately with Our Lord in the Eucharist, [it] will unite man more intimately with the deepest reality of himself.”

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