Pope says the Church must listen, accompany and bless the journey of families
Francis sent a message to the participants in a webinar on “Our Daily Love” to mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, on the occasion of the opening of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, which ends on 26 June 2022 with the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis sent a message to participants in a webinar dedicated to “Our Daily Love”, opening the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, which marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The dedicated year will end on 26 June 2022 with the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome.
For Francis, the Church does not only want to show the way, but wants “to accompany, to listen, to bless the journey of families”, making “the journey with them; to enter the home with discretion and love, to say to the couple: the Church is with you, the Lord is close to you, we want to help you safeguard the gift you have received.”
The main goal of Amoris Laetitia, writes Francis, is “to communicate, in a time and in a profoundly changed culture, that today there is a need for a new outlook on the family on the part of the Church: it is not enough to reiterate the value and importance of doctrine, if we do not become protectors of the beauty of the family and if we do not take compassionate care of its frailties and its wounds.
“These two aspects are at the heart of all family pastoral care: the directness of the proclamation of the Gospel and the tenderness of accompaniment.” However, faced with the difficulties created by “the exaltation of the temporary that discourages lifelong commitment, the predominance of individualism, fear of the future [. . . ] “the Church reiterates to Christian spouses the value of marriage as God’s plan, as a fruit of his Grace, and as a call to live fidelity and gratuitousness to the fullest. This is the way for relationships, though they may cross a path marked by failures, falls and changes, to open up to the fullness of joy and human realisation, and become a leaven for fraternity and love in society.”
What is more, “this proclamation cannot and must never be give from above and from the outside. The Church is embodied in historical reality, as was her Master, and even when she announces the Gospel of the family, she does so immersing herself in real life, knowing at first hand the daily struggles of spouses and parents, their problems, their sufferings, all those situations, small and large, that weigh down and sometimes hinder their journey.”
“Proclaiming the Gospel by accompanying people and placing ourselves at the service of their happiness: in this way, we can help families to journey in a way that responds to their vocation and mission, aware of the beauty of the bonds and their foundation in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
“When the family lives under the sign of this divine Communion, which I wished to make explicit in its existential aspects in Amoris laetitia, then it becomes a living word of God-Love, spoken to the world and for the world. Indeed, the grammar of family relationships - that is, of conjugality, motherhood, fatherhood, filiality and fraternity - is the way through which the language of love is transmitted, which gives meaning to life and human quality to every relationship.
“It is a language made up not only of words, but also of ways of being, of the way we speak, of the looks, gestures, times and spaces of our relationship with others. Married couples know this well, parents and children learn it daily in this school of love that is the family.”
It ”is also where the transmission of faith between generations takes place: it passes through the language of the good and healthy relationships that are lived out in the family every day, especially when facing conflicts and difficulties together.
“In this time of pandemic, amidst so many psychological, economic and health-related difficulties, all this has become evident: family ties have been and are still being severely tested, but at the same time they remain the firmest point of reference, the strongest support, the irreplaceable guardian of the whole human and social community.
“So let us support the family! Let us defend it from that which compromises its beauty. Let us approach this mystery of love with wonder, discretion and tenderness. And let us commit ourselves to safeguarding its precious and delicate bonds: children, parents, grandparents... We need these bonds to live and to live well, to make humanity more fraternal.”