From the guide: Throughout Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict talks about gift with its starting point of God’s love given both freely and abundantly to all humanity. He echoes his first encyclical, God is Love. The challenge in Caritas in Veritate is how humanity in its turn can and must reflect God’s gratuitous love to one another.

This gratuitous love that we are called to share with one another – love given free of charge and uncalled for, without being asked – is intimately linked to reciprocity: exchanging with one another for mutual benefit. It is helping one another not for what you may gain in return, but because you can.

Questions: How does the concept of 'gratuitousness' and gift sit with us? What experience have we got of giving without hope of return? How much are we 'open to reciprocal gift'?

Share your thoughts: Use the comment button to leave your thoughts about gift, gratuitousness, solidarity and subsidiarity, and how you are minded to respond.

Photo: Standing tall. At the height of the political violence in Timor-Leste in 2006, Sister Guilhermina Marcal helped care for some 23,000 people sheltering in the grounds of her convent. Today, that number is still 1,400. Marcus Perkins/Progressio

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