Love is free; it is not practiced as a way of achieving other ends.

Pope Benedict XVI

Perhaps the most universally sacred virtue, love is most valuable when it is practiced purely and with no expectation of reward. Pope Benedict XVI summarized this concept in "Deus Caritas Est” (“God Is Love”), his first encyclical letter (a papal letter written to the Roman Catholic bishops) after his appointment as pope in 2005. This rumination on love — in both its earthly and divine forms — emphasizes its unconditional and generous nature, which seeks nothing in return.