Monday, June 12, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 316

316.  A positive experience of family communion is a true path to daily sanctification and mystical growth, a means for deeper union with God.  The fraternal and communal demands of family life are an incentive to growth in openness of heart and thus to an ever fuller encounter with the Lord.  The word of God tells us that "the one who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness" (1 Jn 2:1); such a person "abides in death" (1 Jn 3:14) and "does not know God" (1 Jn 4:8).  My predeccessor Benedict XVI pointed out that "closing our eyes to our neighbour also blinds us to God",370 and that, in the end, love is the only light which can "constantly illuminate a world grown dim".371  If only we "love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us" (1 Jn 4:12). Since "the human person has an inherent social dimension",372 and "the first and basic expression of that social dimension of the person is the married couples and the family",373 spirituality becomes incarnate in the communion of the family.  Hence, those who have deep spiritual aspirations should not feel that the family detracts from their growth in the life of the Spirit, but rather see it as a path which the Lord is using to lead them to the heights of mystical union.

370  Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est (25 December 2015), 16: AAS 98 (2006), 230.
371  Ibid., 39: AAS 98 (2006), 250.
372  John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 40: AAS 81 (1989), 468.
373  Ibid.