Thursday, June 22, 2017

Amoris Laetitia

Dear Friends in the Faith,

Congratulations on completing this journey through Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia 😊 

Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire creative fidelity to the joy of love revealed in Jesus Christ!  Mary, Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us—

The Secretariat for Evangelization & Catechesis
Diocese of Joliet in Illinois

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 325

325.  The teaching of the Master (cf. Mt 22:30) and Saint Paul (cf. 1 Cor 7:29-31) on marriage is set - and not by chance - in the context of the ultimate and definitive dimension of our human existence. We urgently need to rediscover the richness of this teaching.  By heeding it, married couples will come to see the deeper meaning of their journey through life.  As this Exhortation has often noted, no family drops down from heaven perfectly formed; families need constantly to grow and mature in the ability to love.  This is a never-ending vocation born of the full communion of the Trinity, the profound unity between Christ and his Church, the loving community which is the Holy Family of Nazareth, and the pure fraternity existing among the saints of heaven.  Our contemplation of the fulfillment which we have yet to attain also allows us to see in proper perspective the historical journey which we make as families, and in this way to stop demanding of our interpersonal relationships a perfection, a purity of intentions and a consistency which we will only encounter in the Kingdom to come.  It also keeps us from judging harshly those who live in situations of frailty. All of us are called to keep striving towards something greater than ourselves and our families, and every family must feel this constant impulse.  Let us make this journey as families, let us keep walking together.  What we have been promised is greater than we can imagine.  May we never lose heart because of our limitations, or ever stop seeking that fullness of love and communion which God holds out before us.  

Prayer to the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love;
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience
violence, rejection and division;
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
make us one more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God's plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Graciously hear our prayer.


    Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, on 19 March, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, in the year 2016, the fourth of my Pontificate.   -Francis


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 324

324.  Led by the Spirit, the family circle is not only open to life by generating it within itself, but also by going forth and spreading life by caring for others and seeking their happiness.  This openness finds particular expression in hospitality,389 which the word of God eloquently encourages:  "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Heb 13:2).  When a family is welcoming and reaches out to others, especially the poor and the neglected, it is "a symbol, witness and participant in the Church's motherhood".390  Social love, as a reflection of the Trinity, is what truly unifies the spiritual meaning of the family and its mission to others, for it makes present the kerygma in all its communal imperatives.  The family lives its spirituality precisely by being at one and the same time a domestic church and a vital cell for transforming the world.391

389  Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 44: AAS 74 (1982), 136.
390  Ibid., 49: AAS 74 (1982), 141.
391  For the social aspects of the family, cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 248-254.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 323

323.  It is a profound spiritual experience to contemplate our loved ones with the eyes of God and to see Christ in them.  This demands a freedom and openness which enables us to appreciate their dignity.  We can be fully present to others only by giving fully of ourselves and forgetting all else. Our loved ones merit our complete attention.  Jesus is our model in this, for whenever people approached to speak with him he would meet their gaze, directly and lovingly (cf. Mk 10:21).  No one felt overlooked in his presence, since his words and gestures conveyed the question: "What do you want me to do for you?" (Mk 10:51).  This is what we experience in the daily life of the family.  We are constantly reminded that each of those who live with us merits complete attention, since he or she possesses infinite dignity as an object of the Father's immense love.  This gives rise to a tenderness which can "stir in the other joy of being loved.  Tenderness is expressed in a particular way by exercising loving care in treating the limitations of the other, especially when they are evident".388

388  Relatio Finalis 2015, 88.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 322

322.  All family life is a "shepherding" in mercy.  Each of us, by our love and care, leaves a mark on the life of others; with Paul, we can say:  "You are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts...not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God" (2 Cor 3:3-2).  Each of us is a "fisher of men" (Lk 5:10) who in Jesus' name "casts the nets" (cf. Lk 5:5) to others, or a farmer who tills the fresh soil of those whom he or she loves, seeking to bring out the best in them.  Marital fruitfulness involves helping others, for "to love anybody is to expect from him something which can neither be defined nor foreseen; it is at the same time in some way to make it possible for him to fulfill this expectation".387  This is itself a way to worship God, who has sown so much good in others in the hope that we will help make it grow.

387  Gabriel Marcel, Homo Viator:  prolĂ©gomĂšnes Ă  une mĂ©taphysique de l'espĂ©rance, Paris, 1944, p. 66.  English:  Homo Viator.  An Introduction to a Metaphysics of Hope, London, 1951, p. 49.