Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

April 4, 2011

Human love and divine love go hand in hand, and separating the two leads to problems that create alienation within and outside the Church, said the papal preacher.

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said the mistaken belief that the love people have toward one another and for God is incompatible with the unconditional love God shows for man has contributed to the secularization of the West as well as deviations among consecrated people.

The two expressions of love can be reconciled by putting love of Jesus Christ before everything, Cantalamessa said in the first meditation for Lent delivered to the pope and Vatican officials March 25.

Cantalamessa, as the pope's preacher, is called on to deliver sermons, homilies and meditations for special occasions, including Lent and Advent.

He will speak at Nothing More Beautiful and deliver the annual Jordan Lecture Series in Edmonton next month.

Secularization and its emphasis on "eros," Cantalamessa said, has "separated human love in all its forms from God, reducing it to something purely 'profane' in which God is 'too much' and even bothersome."

On the other hand, he said, a love of God distinguished by "agape without eros" that is common to some men and women of the consecrated life is a "cold love."