10/24/2018, 13.04
VATICAN
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Pope says marriage must be well prepared, three or four parish classes not enough

Speaking of the Commandment "You shall not commit adultery", Francis spoke of a need for a "catechumenate" for engaged couples. We must not "overestimate physical attraction, which in itself is a gift from God but aimed at preparing the way for an authentic and faithful relationship".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Marriage needs careful preparation, a "catechumenate" that cannot be reduced to "three or four sessions" in the parish: "the call to married life requires careful discernment of the quality of the relationship and a period of engagement time to confirm it". The need for preparation for the sacrament of marriage and "turning to Christ" to find its foundation was the focus of Pope Francis' reflection on the Commandment "You shall not commit adultery".

Speaking to the more than 20 thousand people present in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope said that one should not "overestimate physical attraction, which in itself is a gift from God but aimed at preparing the way for an authentic and faithful relationship". Two people "cannot promise fidelity" in joy and sorrow, in sickness and in health", and to love and honor each other every day of their lives, only on the basis of goodwill or hope that ‘it will work out'. They need to build on the solid ground of God's faithful love ".

"Only love based on the rock of faith in God - he explained in the greeting to the Arab faithful - and on trust in the other, can withstand the wind of temptations, the storms of mood swings and the seductions of the world. The word 'I love you', in fact, contains in itself the promise of permanent fidelity ".

The " You shall not commit adultery" of the Sixth Commandment, he said in catechesis, is an "immediate call to fidelity, and in fact no human relationship is authentic without fidelity and loyalty. One cannot love only as long as 'it is convenient'; love manifests itself just beyond the threshold of one's own advantage, when everything is given without reserve. As the Catechism states: "Love wants to be definitive. It cannot be 'until further notice'"(No. 1646). Fidelity is the characteristic of a free, mature, responsible human relationship. Even a friend proves himself authentic because he remains such in all circumstances, otherwise he is not a friend. Christ reveals authentic love, He who lives of the boundless love of the Father, and by virtue of this is the faithful Friend who welcomes us even when we make mistakes and always wants our good, even when we do not deserve it".

"The human being needs to be loved without conditions, and those who do not receive this welcome carry within a certain incompleteness, often without knowing it. The human heart tries to fill this void with surrogates, accepting compromises and mediocrity that only have a vague taste of love. The risk is to call of unripe and immature relationships 'love', with the illusion of finding the light of life in something that, at best, is only a reflection of it. This leads to overestimate physical attraction, which in itself is a gift from God but is aimed at paving the way for an authentic and faithful relationship with the person. As St. John Paul II said, the human being "is called to the full and mature spontaneity of relationships", which "is the gradual fruit of the discernment of the impulses of one's heart". It is something that is conquered, since every human being "must with perseverance and consistency learn what the meaning of the body is" (cf. Catechesis, 12 November 1980)".

 

"The call to married life requires careful discernment of the quality of the relationship and a period of engagement time to confirm it. To enter the sacrament of marriage, the engaged couple must mature the certainty that in their bond there is the hand of God, who precedes them and accompanies them ".

"For this reason, before receiving the sacrament of marriage we need attentive preparation, I would say a catechumenate". "You cannot say preparation is three or four conferences held in the parish, the responsibility is of the parish priest or the bishop who allow these things. Marriage is a sacrament that must be prepared ".

"The Sixth Commandment can safeguard us from so many forms of adultery. Fidelity is in fact a way of being, a way of life. One works with fidelity, one speaks sincerely, one remains faithful to the truth in one's own thoughts and actions. A life woven of fidelity is expressed in all dimensions and leads to being faithful and reliable men and women in all circumstances. But to arrive at such a beautiful life our human nature is not enough; it is necessary that God's fidelity enter our existence. This Sixth Commandment calls us to turn our gaze to Christ, who with his fidelity can take an adulterous heart from us and give us a faithful heart. In him, and only in him, there do we find love without reserve and rethinking, the complete gift without conditions and the tenacity of acceptance to the end. From his death and resurrection comes our fidelity, from his unconditional love comes constancy in relationships. From communion with him, with the Father and with the Holy Spirit comes the communion between us and the ability to live our bonds in fidelity ".

Among those present at the audience, Francis greeted," the group of eleven cyclists who have made a journey of 1160 km by bicycle from Zagreb to Rome ", thanking them "for this testimony of faith and closeness to the Successor of Peter ".

Finally, Francis recalled that" next Sunday, the Church in Poland celebrates the X Day of solidarity with the persecuted Church, organized by the papal foundation "Aid for the Church in Need", together with the Polish Episcopal Conference. Economic support will be donated this year to Christians in Pakistan. Thank you for these initiatives of peace and solidarity ".

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