I proudly say, or humbly recognize, by anticipations from his last enciclical, that Pope Benedict confirms what I stated in my previous post.
I'll probably have more to say when I'll have read the whole thing. But I was glad to find at the core of Benedict's discourse the concept of gift.
I wrote a book about it, if you want to know.
We call gift gratuitous. But this does not mean that it excludes any expectation of reciprocity. To the contrary. Such expectation does not take away, though, its gratuoitosness.
In a gift exchange, I am not primarily interested in what someone has to give, but I am rather interested in defining the relation in which we stand to each other. That why gift giving requires forms of politeness, to be gracious in giving, by putting little stress on the things given: "it's just a thought", we may say; or, after receiving thanks, we may reply, "it's nothing".
In this sense then gift is gratuitous: that it doesn't rest on anything else, it is a pure sign of our being in relation - call it of friendship and love.
It's all a giving and receiving, which we did not start.
A divine play we participate in.