In Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI describes the “unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbor” (no. 16). The experience of God’s love, he says, should move us to love our neighbors, in whom God is present.
Who are our neighbors? In the Gospels, Jesus answers the question with the parable of the Good Samaritan—the beaten man on the road who had no one else to care for him. Pope Benedict XVI tells us that the “extraordinary force” of love should propel us, as disciples of Christ, to action on behalf of such neighbors (Caritas in Veritate, no. 1). In the same way, Pope Francis notes: “A prayer that does not lead you to practical action for your brother—the poor, the sick, those in need of help, a brother in difficulty—is a sterile and incomplete prayer” (Angelus, 7/21/13).
What should our loving action look like? The Catholic tradition recognizes two types of necessary responses that we call the Two Feet of Love in Action.
This facilitator’s guide can help you as you lead a group of high school age participants to learn about and reflect on living out the call to discipleship through these two distinct, but complementary, ways of responding in love to the needs of our neighbors. If there are participants with disabilities in your group, be sure to consult “Tips to Adapt Activities for Participants with Disabilities” on pages 42-43 before you begin.
From the Bishops
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops made this document available to you for download.