10/25/2013, 00.00
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Pope: recognizing the family, founded on marriage, as an unreserved gift of self

It is a "community" in which "the person becomes aware of their own dignity , and especially if they receive a Christian education, they recognize the dignity of every human person, in particular the sick, weak, marginalized”.

Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The family, founded on marriage , in which " we give ourselves completely, unreservedly without calculation", asks to be recognized as a "community ", " more so today , when the prevailing tendency is for the protection of individual rights".  This was Pope Francis request today as he received participants in the XXI plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family.  The pontiff highlighted both the formative role that the family plays, and its care for the elderly and children, from a society with by not protecting them , "severs its roots and darkens its future" and, finally, as a "a very important part of evangelization. "

The family will also be the topic of the next Extraordinary Synod of Bishops.  For Pope Francis it is first and foremost a "community of life that has its own autonomous consistency". As Pope John Paul II wrote in Familiaris Consortio, "it is not the sum of the people who constitute it , but a "community of people". It 's the place where you learn to love, the natural center of human life. It is made up of faces, of people who love, who dialogue, who sacrifice themselves for others and defend life, especially the most fragile and weak.  We could say, without exaggerating, that the family is the engine of the world and of history. Each of us forms his or her own personality within the family, growing up with a mother and father, brothers and sisters, breathing in the warmth of the home. The family is the place where we receive our name, it is the place of our affections, a space of intimacy, where we learned the art of dialogue and interpersonal communication. In the family the person becomes aware of their own dignity, and especially if they receive a Christian education, where they recognize the dignity of every human person, especially of the sick , weak, marginalized".

Secondly, "the family is based on marriage". "Through an act of gratuitous and faithful love Christian spouses testify that marriage is a sacrament, it is the basis on which the family is founded and makes the union of the spouses and their mutual self-giving more solid". "In marriage, we give ourselves completely without calculation or reserves, sharing everything, gifts and sacrifices, trusting in God's Providence. This is the experience that young people can learn from their parents and grandparents. It is an experience of faith in God and of mutual trust, of profound freedom, of holiness, because holiness supposes the giving with fidelity and sacrifice every day of our life. "

Pope Francis went on to highlight the "two stages of family life: childhood and old age. Children and the elderly are the two poles of life and also the most vulnerable, often the most forgotten . A society that abandons children and that marginalizes the elderly severs its roots and obscures its future. Whenever a child is abandoned and an old person outcast, it is not just an act of injustice , but it also enshrines the failure of that society. Taking care of the children and the elderly is a choice for civilization . "

The "good news " of the family, then , is " a very important part of evangelization, that Christians can communicate to all with the testimony of life, and already do, this is evident in secularized societies: truly Christian families recognize faithfulness, patience , openness to life , respect for the elderly ... the secret of all this is the presence of Jesus in the family. Therefore with respect and courage I propose to all the beauty of marriage and the family enlightened by the Gospel! And for that reason we must be close to and care for families in need, those who are forced to leave their land, that are broken, that have no home or work, or are suffering for many reasons; spouses in crisis and those now separated. We want to be close to them all!".


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