some extent this is because our “technological
society has succeeded in multiplying occasions
of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to en-
I can say that the most beautiful
and natural expressions of joy which I have seen
in my life were in poor people who had little to
hold on to. I also think of the real joy shown
by others who, even amid pressing professional
obligations, were able to preserve, in detachment
and simplicity, a heart full of faith. In their own
way, all these instances of joy flow from the in-
finite love of God, who has revealed himself to
us in Jesus Christ. I never tire of repeating those
words of Benedict XVI which take us to the very
heart of the Gospel: “Being a 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”.
8. Thanks solely to this encounter – or re-
newed encounter – with God’s love, which blos-
soms into an enriching friendship, we are liber-
ated from our narrowness and self-absorption.
We become fully human when we become more
than human, when we let God bring us beyond
ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of
our being. Here we find the source and inspira-
tion of all our efforts at evangelization. For if
we have received the love which restores mean-
Ibid. 8: AAS 67 (1975), 292.
Deus Caritas Est
(25 December 2005),
1: AAS 98 (2006), 217.