Amoris laetitia Summary What does it mean? Its translation from Latin is “The joy of love”. Mario Iceta, a Spanish Catholic priest and Bishop of Bilbao since 2010, defines it as follows: “Amoris Laetitia is the need for a new discernment for the future of the family.”
Summary of Amoris Laetitia
Amoris laetitia summary , is a post-synodal apostolic exhortation that was signed by Pope Francis on March 19, 2016, and then made public on April 8 of the same year. This summary Amoris laetitia includes the results contained in the two previous Synods where the family is discussed.
These synods were called by Pope Francis: the extraordinary synod in 2014 and the ordinary synod in 2015, respectively.
Before entering the subject, it is important to understand what is an apostolic exhortation? What type of document is the Amoris laetitia summary ?
The Exhortations like the Amoris laetitia summary , are official documents of the Pope, which do not refer to doctrinal questions, but pastoral ones. That is to say, it is not a document aimed at lecturing on the subject of doctrine, but rather to begin to understand how to behave without touching the doctrine.
The doctrine cannot be modified in an exhortation such as Amoris laetitia summary , however, this can modify the type of pastoral that follows from said doctrine. You are probably wondering, what kind of modification?
Through an apostolic exhortation, the pontiff exhorts the faithful to behave in a certain way on a specific matter.
The dogma of faith is a topic that the Pope proclaims very explicitly, solemnly, ex cathedra, and generally, having previously consulted the bishops, and settles a discussion, which would not have been had on that topic before, during the topic that be necessary. Once the father announces that this is a dogma of faith, there is no more discussion about it and we have to abide by it.
The family is a crucial theme for the summary Amoris laetitia not only for the Church, but for the survival of humanity and entire societies. It is also a topic that the Church has dealt with, it must be cultivated and serve as inspiration both in our academic work and in universities.
Faith in God, in addition to giving meaning to life, inspires and stimulates a perhaps deeper and more critical understanding of any truly human cultural process.
In the “Synthesis of Christian Social Thought”, a little-known work, the family appears as a fundamental reality, it is called the vital cell of society, and a very notable space is dedicated to it.
Summary Amoris laetitia , the joy of love, the exhortation with which Pope Francis closes the tour of two Synods dedicated to just one theme: the family.
Amoris laetitia summary It is the first time that two synods have been devoted to the same theme, and this apostolic exhortation is the result of having listened to the people of God. In fact, two large surveys were carried out on the challenges, vocation and mission of the family, based on this, this exhortation was developed.
The summary Amoris laetitia draws a lot of attention for its great breadth, but also for its divine articulation. It is subdivided into nine (09) chapters and more than 300 paragraphs.
This extensive document, Amoris laetitia summary , is intended as an invitation to appreciate and cherish the values that similarly structure and shape married and family life.
The Trinitarian love of God has its origin and foundation, that is, the paradigm of dedication and donation for all humanity and that clearly shows the meaning of commitment, fidelity, patience, as well as, seeks to be the breath that feeds and encourage all Christians to be a sign of mercy and harmony.
What does the pope intend with the summary Amoris laetitia ? The desire of the family remains alive and will always be because it is written in the human heart and when asked what is the most valued institution? Without a doubt, the family is the answer.
Why two synods? According to Bishop Mario Iceta, in a meeting they held with the pope, he told them that “in the midst of his prayers he could intuit that God was asking him to show what Jesus Christ says today in the Gospel, to contemporary man and to the family.
The Pope expresses that “not all doctrinal, moral or pastoral discussions should be resolved with interventions from the magisterium”, so that, for certain matters “in each country or region it has the duty to seek more harmonious solutions, which are attentive to the people’s traditions and local challenges.
This principle is extremely important, even from the perspective raised and the particular way of understanding the problems that, beyond a dogmatic question super defined by the Magisterium of the Church, cannot be “globalized”.
Amoris laetitia summary , A new word that recognizes the challenges that a family faces in these current times. Many things have changed, and although the word is the same, the approach is different. In this new walk, there must also be a new focus.
Without a doubt, this stimulating and luminous exhortation will offer us new and very great perspectives, and will help to renew the family union.
This would then suppose a first stage to train the representatives of God on earth and that these, in turn, can transmit this new message. Study how will the message be given? what will be the reception of his believers? How to accompany marriages before and after?
It must be recognized that this exhortation has been one of the most debated, in fact, many affirm that nothing like it had ever been seen before, but it is really very important.
Archbishop Mons. Samuel J. Aquila (Denver), highlighted the importance of Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris laetitia summary is extremely accurate and relevant to our modern life, since the main themes that it develops in great depth are: marriage and family .
He invites us, of course, to take the time to read it, study it and reflect on each point mentioned. This exhortation is so well thought out that it is addressed not only to the religious community, but also to the common person.
What is its importance?
Pope Francis offers the Church a guide with new lights, which also invites us to reflect deeply on relationships, feelings, the importance of good preparation for marriage, the challenges we face in this modern world.
What novelty does the exhortation Amoris laetitia bring?
The novelty that this Amoris laetitia summarizes brings is the “attitude of accompaniment”. Pope Francis, like many of his predecessors, recognizes the various challenges that modern family life faces, for which he places great emphasis on the need for an approach and involvement of the Church and its ministers with their communities.
Also, it highlights the importance of this accompaniment, as a way to be much closer to people regardless of the situation they may be going through or if they are far from God or feel ex-communicated from the Church, the accompaniment and willingness to serve must be the same.
Amoris laetitia summary is not an isolated text of today’s society, on the contrary, it clearly expresses the different situations and challenges that we all face as “People of God” in our daily lives.
This document also reminds us of the beauty of family life, despite all the problems, challenges and crises that we must face throughout it.
Pope Francis expresses that “forming a family” is a way of saying “I want to be part of God’s dream”, and of joining him in building a better world, where we all feel that we belong to a great family and ” no one feels alone”.
Despite being a “special” document aimed at bishops and religious, Pope Francis expressed that it may be of interest to spouses as well, so we must take the time to read it in its entirety and take what we consider can help us. In our life.
Chapter one: “In the light of the Word”
Amoris laetitia summarizes the Pope shows us the family not as an ideal, but rather as a creation, which manifests itself from tenderness, but at the same time is confronted with sin from its origin, that is, from when the relationship is transformed into a “domain”.
The Holy Father intends three things: deepen, guide, offer.
Deepen: An important word. The Pope places himself in the groove of the word of God, of tradition and the magisterium. Starting from that furrow, he, as the successor of Peter, takes up the plow again and goes deeper into that furrow, in order to then find new lights, widen the terrain and discover new elements that help us to freely delve into doctrinal, moral, spiritual questions. and pastoral.
Guide: To reflection and dialogue, but above all, pastoral praxis.
Offer: Encouragement, encouragement and helping families, walking with them. Support them, sustain them and look for new horizons, new lights.
In the synods, the classic methodology was: see, judge and act, which has its insights, but also great limits, so the pope decided to completely change this methodology, placing a first chapter that is: The word of God.
What does the Holy Father tell us when applying this new methodology?
That Marriage, human love and family, is above all, design and gift of God. It is a gift that God offers us and shows us in Psalm 128: 1-4
The Psalm is for the pope like a portico, from there he takes a look at reality and the challenges that arise in families. Also, it speaks of a deep anthropological change and of the cultural challenge. The Gaudium Gospel already said “the great challenge of the family is a cultural challenge”.
Chapter two: “The reality and challenges of the family”
The intention of Christian institutions is to Generate Culture, a culture of love, human love and the truth of that love.
Culture is not living from the past. We have churches, cathedrals, but today, who generates culture? Who cultivates in a Christian way today? We live in a refractory culture, limited, impermeable in some aspects of the Christian relationship and man-woman anthropology.
Within this anthropological path, the Pope points out what he calls exasperated individualism. We live in a culture that is markedly individualistic, where it is easy for human beings to lose that communal dimension.
The difference between being an Individual and a Person is that the individual is “one who is closed in on himself”, while a person is one who institutionally is “turned towards the other”.
Amoris laetitia abstract : It also speaks of a culture of the provisional. Before, there was a place where she got married, a place where she had stability at work and lived her whole life.
Today, people are born in one place, study in another, work in different places, so it is rather a culture of continuous change, which, many times, makes it difficult to assume a stable commitment (forever) .
Committing our life to another person forever, deciding to be religious forever, the “forever” is made extremely difficult with this culture in which we currently live.
Pope Francis affirms that it is extremely important and necessary to pay due attention to the concrete reality that families are experiencing today, since they are the reasons why many believers have strayed from the path of God or their faith has been severely weakened. faith.
So many demands and consumerism silence the voices of the call of the Spirit, which is why he calls on the Church to accompany and guide its people, actively participate in it so that it understands more deeply and in living flesh the challenges it faces, and can offer a better understanding and accompaniment to both couples and families.
The idea of what we believe to be marriage has led many to divorce, because there is no clear conscience. There is no message (until now) that showed us marriage as it is, with its ups and downs.
Marriage is “a dynamic path of growth and fulfillment.” We must not fall into the mistake of thinking that families are sustained solely and exclusively by moral or doctrinal guidelines, which is why the Pope insists that it is necessary to create spaces where the faithful can train and understand what they are going to face, and more still important, how they can deal with it in the best way.
The Master Jesus certainly proposed a demanding ideal but he never set aside compassion for people who needed him, such as the adulterous woman, let us learn from his example.
Third chapter: “Looking at Jesus: the vocation of the family”
On the subject of affectivity, the Pope says three words about it:
An affectivity to which one day much importance is given, but thirty years ago they were not so important. Now, many of these cases can be narcissistic, that is, they are not thought of how to make you happy, but how can I be happy, have pleasure or well-being?
Unstable and changing: A fairly marked and constantly changing bipolarity. One day I feel good and the other bad. One moment we are euphoric, and the next, we are in crisis.
These changes, often for no apparent reason, is what the famous Polish and Jewish writer Zygmunt Bauman defines as “romantic love. He also tells us about liquid societies and liquid love, which is nothing more than what we know as “romantic love”.
This romantic love is a purely sentimental, purely emotional love, which makes it impossible to build a narrative of life, because it remains only in emotion.
“Reproductive health” then is a misused term, because who reproduces? Animals! Human beings procreate.
Weakening of Faith: Faith is something that is not transmitted in families. The percentage of baptized children today is quite low. And marriages have also been greatly reduced.
A weakness of families: “No one can think that weakening the family as a natural society founded on marriage is something that favors society. The opposite happens, it harms the maturation of people, the cultivation of community values, the ethical development of cities and towns”… Says the pope.
And continues. It is conclusive that “only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman fulfills a full social function, as it is a stable commitment and makes fertility possible.”
Amoris laetitia abstract : De facto unions, or unions between people of the same sex, cannot be equated to marriage. No precarious or closed union to the communication of life, assures us the future of society”.
As we can see, the pope is very forceful in many affirmations, as he is also forceful in the famous “gender theories”.
It is alarming that ideologies like this type try to gain ground and prevail as a unique and valid thought and that even determines what the education of children should be like?
After having studied and analyzed these challenges, the pope asks us another question: where then can we find those lights, that orientation? The answer: Let’s look at Jesus.
Therefore, although it is a fact that the doctrine must be expressed clearly, the Pope also tells us that we must avoid judgments, especially those that overlook or do not consider the complexity of the various situations, humiliation and ridicule of those who are exposed and these people are victims because of their “condition”.
Chapter four: “Love in marriage”
The fourth chapter Amoris laetitia summary is one of the most beautiful, because it talks about love and life in marriage, which we can see perfectly illustrated in the “hymn to love” of Saint Paul in 1 Cor 13,4-7 which tells us:
“Love is long-suffering, it is benign; love is not envious, love is not boastful, it is not puffed up; he does not do anything improper, he does not seek his own, he does not get irritated, he does not hold a grudge; one does not rejoice in injustice, but one rejoices more in the truth. He suffers everything, believes everything, expects everything, supports everything”.
As a complement to this, the Pope forcefully expresses that: “in the very nature of conjugal love is the openness to the definitive”, properly within that “combination of joys and fatigue, tensions and rest, sufferings and of liberation, of satisfactions and searches, of annoyances and pleasures” is, precisely, marriage.
“Marriage is a gift from the Lord”. It is a gift that God has given us, therefore, it is not a human construct, it is not a cultural construct. First of all it is a Design of God.
The Pope, in a Congress said: “Man alone is not the full image and likeness of God. The woman alone is not the full image and likeness of God. It is the relationship between man and woman that is the image and likeness of God, that is why man and woman were created by God and blessed, therefore, that alterity is constitutive and is the image of the alterity of God, which is UNITY. God is one, but he is a trinity, he is triune, a communion of persons, he is embodied in human reality”.
“The reality marked by sin”: Violence begins, the sin of Adam and Eve, the violence between Cain and Abel, murder, disputes, monogamy, polygamy, hardness of heart, adultery, among others.
“Newness in Christ”: Christ renews everything, and makes a new sign of covenant appear between man and woman. This is the sign of Christ and the Church, the paschal mystery, which renews creation. Renew, the human love of man and woman.
It is important to remember these lines expressed by John Paul the second:
“The sacrament of Matrimony, what is its purpose? It is a gift for two things: the first, the sanctification of the spouses, that is, the grace that the spouse receives through the other spouse.
The spouse exercises a priestly role with respect to the other spouse, and furthermore, for the salvation of the spouses, the spouse acts the salvation of his or her husband or wife. He actualizes salvation. Salvation is realized there, in that reciprocal gift like marriage, which is a response, a vocation”.
When we speak of “vocation” we are not referring only to the priestly or religious vocation, but to the response to God’s call, that is, the vocation is the way in which I respond to the Lord’s call.
Love in marriage: The unitive and procreative dimension.
Regarding the unitive dimension of love, Saint Paul relates everything about love. He makes reference to the fact that love is patient, helpful, does not envy, does not brag, is not arrogant, does not seek its own interest… And the Pope makes an exegesis of each element of love and highlights thirty (30) very important points, the which will be explained in detail later.
There are many types of love, paternal-filial love, brotherly love, friendship love, courtly love, romantic love and conjugal love. Conjugal love is the love that unites the spouses and is sanctified, enlightened and enriched by the grace of the sacrament of marriage.
Marriage is an affective and spiritual union, which leads us to ask ourselves and reflect on what I come to offer? And that takes on the tenderness of friendship, where human traits clearly appear, because it is an incarnate love, we love with the body and with the soul; Erotic passion is able to subsist even when feelings and passion weaken.
Amoris laetitia summary . Something the Pope says and it seems important to us to highlight: “We cannot pretend to have the same feelings for a lifetime”. What a great mistake of young people who think that feelings are always the same, and when they change, they think that they have stopped loving.
This chapter does not share the idea of marriage in its “new forms of affectivity”, that is, pansexualization, sexual liberation, to give a few examples, from decades ago, among others.
Also, they make a “critique” of the new way of conceiving the passions and sexual impulses of young people, and even adults, which do not seem to go beyond a purely biological act, where pleasure is the objective, and not the true love, commitment and surrender to God.
Feelings change during life, they evolve. They are not the same when one is a “boyfriend” than when he is already married. When we have been married for one year, five years, ten years, thirty years or more, our feelings evolve.
It is normal not to always feel the same, as we mentioned, feelings evolve, more however, what if we can have a life project in common, commit ourselves from the heart to live together and love each other “until death do us part”. In other words, always live in privacy.
The love that unites us and promises always exceeds emotion, any feeling or state of mind. It is a deeper desire, a decision of the heart.
The pope says: “In the history of a marriage, not only feelings change, the body also changes, but this is not a reason for loving attraction to weaken.” Someone falls in love with a whole person, with their own identity, not just a body. That body never stops expressing in some way that own identity that has captivated the heart.
When other people are not able to recognize the beauty in the loved one because they have aged, the spouse, even in love, will continue to be able to perceive it, with what? With the instinct of love. The affection never disappears, and he expresses that daily choice in a faithful and tender closeness.
The pope has a very beautiful definition of tenderness: “Tenderness is bowing down to the weakness of another, embracing that weakness and restoring it.”
The Pope, in the quest for the couple not to be afraid of commitment, tells them: “The sense of consent shows that freedom and fidelity are not opposed, rather they support each other, both in interpersonal relationships and in social ones” ( AL, 214).
One of the greatest reflections that we can draw from this is that the Pope tells us in a very beautiful way that the intention of marriage (throughout our lives) and with all the “transformation of love” that this entails, is that invitation , or rather, that need to choose ourselves again despite the difficulties.
Chapter five: “The love that becomes fruitful”
Amoris laetitia abstract : Each child is in the heart of God and from the moment it is conceived, the divine dream of the creator is fulfilled. Let’s think for a moment, how much is that boy or girl worth from the moment he is conceived? We must then look at him with eyes of love, that love of the father, which he sees beyond appearances.
The Pope speaks of four attitudes that we must have in this situation:
First, a distinction between knowing and knowing. With the advances in science, today it is possible to know what hair color the child will have, what diseases he may suffer in the future, among others, but only the father who created him fully knows him.
Only the father knows what is most valuable and most important, because he knows that child, what his best identity is. For God, he has a name and that name makes us recognized by him.
- The mother who carries him in her womb must ask God for enlightenment in order to know her own child in depth.
- Expect him as he is: It is important that this child feels expected.
- The love of the parents is an instrument of the love of the father God: The Mother and the Father are ministers of God with respect to life and accept it without conditions.
- He accepts it for free.
So, in short, a child must be: Known, expected, accepted and welcomed. This thing about life is something infinite.
Chapter Six: “Some Pastoral Perspectives”
The Pope points out that “ordained ministers often lack adequate training to deal with the complex current problems of families.” Although it is true that it is fair and necessary to improve the psycho-affective formation of seminarians, it is also true to involve families more in formation for the ministry.
On the other hand, he points out that “the experience of the long Eastern tradition of married priests can also be useful (…)”.
The pope develops several ideas in this chapter, which, of course, is focused on pastors, institutions, bishops, priests, friars, among others.
Missionary Conversion: Church going forth, the parish (which offers everything to everyone). The parish is the immediacy of the people of God. It is where the people of God and all the gifts of salvation live.
Formation: Of presbyters, priests, men and women religious, seminarians, pastoral agent, among others. And he speaks of three stages of preparation.
Remote Stage: Stage of Christian initiation. This is one of the biggest challenges today. “We are not capable of generating Christian men and women.”
Benedict XVI teaches us: “You do not begin to be a Christian through an ethical decision or a great idea, but through the encounter with an event, with a person, which gives a new horizon to life, and with it, a decisive orientation” .
A person can make a holy scripture without being a believer. If you are an expert in Aramaic, or if you are an expert in Semitic languages, for example. One does not become a Christian by knowing about… but by the personal encounter with Christ that changes our lives.
So, in our Christian initiation, it would be valid to ask ourselves, are people really meeting Christ? Has this radically changed your life, or is it a veneer?
And “this is the remote preparation of Marriage” (says the pope). If there is no ground, then the tree that is Christian marriage cannot grow.
Next procreation: It is the courtship stage. That stage that can include about five or seven years of preparation, although this will depend on each couple.
Unfortunately, couples, instead of taking this time to really prepare for marriage, mostly take a course of maximum ten (10) hours, is this enough time for a lifetime of fatherhood and motherhood? The answer is no! That is a short preparation, a tool for the immediate.
This is then another great challenge: how do we prepare for married life?
Consent: Sometimes the couple do not perceive the theological and spiritual weight of consent. Greater importance is given to the party, the dress, the food, the dress, the flowers, among other things, which are not really important, or at least not, from that spiritual point of view.
That “Yes, I want” that has changed your life, that “Yes, I want” that is really important, remains in the background, and sometimes, it is even overlooked. It should be noted that these words do not apply to the present, but rather constitute the future.
One of the aspects that seems most important to us in Amoris laetitia summary is Accompaniment in the first years of married life: With this the pope refers to illuminating crises, anxieties and difficulties.
Common Crises: They occur in all marriages, like the crises of the beginning, where you have to learn to reconcile the differences, for example, we are going to eat, I fish, I meat.
The crisis of letting go of parents, we have to adapt to our new life; The crisis of the arrival of a child, who comes to change our lives and brings us new challenges.
The crisis of upbringing, which changes habits in marriage, who wakes up when the baby cries? who changes diapers? who gives him the bottle? Who stops working to dedicate himself to him and look after her needs?
The crisis of adolescence, what time do you arrive at night? Do I have to report at what time on the mobile? where are you going to study? The empty nest crisis, when the children are grown up and start their own flight and it’s time to be alone at home again.
Personal Crises: When economic difficulties appear, for example, becoming unemployed; an illness.
Fragility Crisis: Characteristic of the human being and the fulfillment of expectations. Psalm 237: “It has become common that when you do not receive what you want or what you dreamed of does not come true, that seems to be enough to end a marriage.” And then comes the “I didn’t know this was like this, we’d better leave it”.
Crises also come when one of its members has not matured, even in forty-year-olds, who instead of having matured in their adolescence, continue to demand, just as a child would. Where you live in a distorted reality, you live on caprice, everything revolves around the Self. An insatiable love, that irritates or cries when it doesn’t get what it wants.
Other times, one loves with a teenage love, fixated on criticism, the habit of blaming others. This is a love that is lived from fantasy, that is why, before making important decisions, it is convenient to make sure that each one has made that path of healing of their own history.
Today, there are many emotional wounds that have not healed, because otherwise they only weaken the marriage over time.
What happens then with the divorced who have not remarried?
When crises are detected promptly (on time) and accompanied, they can be overcome by at least eighty percent (80%). There are multiple tools for this, but that would be a topic that could be dealt with in another article.
One of the great novelties of this exhortation is the pope’s remark on the importance of accompaniment after the breakup. He expresses that it is necessary to accompany all situations, both those prior to marriage and those after it.
It is here that the pope speaks of the divorced from the Eucharist. Chapter 242: “Divorced and non-remarried persons should be encouraged to find in the Eucharist the food that sustains them in their state.”
Chapter 243: “People who have remarried (and been divorced) and who live in a new union, it is important to make them feel that they are an important part of the Church, they are not excommunicated and they are not treated as such, because they always make up the ecclesiastical communion.
The current situations of “mixed” marriages and those with “cult disparity” are also touched on, but one of the aspects that stands out the most in this chapter is the subject (before taboo) of families with homosexual children, for example.
The most admirable thing is not the fact of the acceptance or non-acceptance of these, but the request to be treated with the respect they deserve, the right to be rejects all discrimination towards their person and all forms of aggression or violence towards them. In this sense, it represents a great evolution and shows what could be a new perspective.
Seventh chapter: “Strengthening the education of children”
A deep reflection of Amoris laetitia summarizes that all parents should realize is about this: The pope asks where are the children? It is not where they are physically, but where they are existentially. As parents, we sometimes make the mistake of becoming obsessed with knowing where our children are at every moment.
We check the cell phone, we track them with the GPS, we hope they don’t lie to us, but we don’t stop to think: where are our children existentially? Where are they on their journey as people? But how are you going to know if you have never really asked them where they are and how they are? In other words, that they can feel understood, accepted and valued.
The preceding paragraphs are particularly significant, so much so that Pope Francis himself affirms that “obsession is not educational, and you cannot have control of all the situations that a child could go through (…)
If a parent is obsessed with knowing where their child is at all times, controlling even the slightest movement, the only thing they will achieve is to push the child away, contrary to what many parents believe they can have “absolute control” of them.
This harassing attitude does not educate, much less prepare them or provide them with tools for the challenges of life, on the contrary, it will transform them into submissive, dependent people and in many cases victims of violence. Is this what we want for them?
What should interest us most as parents is to be an example of love, understanding and accompaniment, as the Master Jesus was for his disciples and believers. Generate children with Christian values, loving, independent, capable of making their own decisions. Mature and free children, who enjoy authentic autonomy.
Things that must be educated (according to the pope): Freedom must be educated, but although it sounds very nice, it is against culture, because we understand freedom as an absolute, but today, we understand freedom as an “absolute will to do what I want ”, therefore, it is ineducable.
Then the Pope will say, “Freedom is limited and conditioned.” Saint Paul says: “Christ has come to liberate our freedom”; Freedom and fidelity are not incompatible. Fidelity is what makes freedom always adhere to the good, this is its end.
However, it is curious that today, fidelity makes us believe that it leads us to “lose our freedom”, let’s see it with an example, what is a bachelor party? The last day that “you will be free”. Instead, the pope tells us: “Fidelity stabilizes, drives and makes freedom grow.”
You have to educate young people to know how to choose well, this is something that is learned. So, how can you “educate freedom”? Educating the virtues! That is why we always talk about educating with values.
Let’s pause, and we are going to differentiate value from virtues. Value, is an intellective reality. Example, the value of diligence, but I like to lie down all day, so I don’t have the Virtue of diligence.
The pope points out: “Educating the will is to develop good habits and affective inclinations in favor of good.” Educate affections, have a taste for good.
Let’s look at this example: The case of a person who is drunk. Intellectually, he knows that alcohol harms him a lot, that it makes him violent and lose control, that his liver is damaged, all of this goes without saying because he knows it perfectly, but why does he do it? Because his affection is attached to alcohol.
The classics said that Virtue is the “ability to act promptly, easily and delightfully”. If, for example, a person requires our help, we give it to him without much thought, without questioning whether his need is genuine or not, we simply offer what we have, without thinking afterwards, was it too much or too little? It is simply giving generously without question, this is being Virtuous.
The summary Amoris laetitia points out the importance of educating our young people with virtues. Educating is also “waiting”, that is, in every aspect of their life, making them understand that everything has a time.
Young people today want everything for now, to skip stages and be great at once, but without being mature enough for it. Teach them to socialize. Educate in consumption (we are a highly consumerist society, so much so that we do not understand any other way of living).
Educate in new technologies. You have to use technologies, yes, but you have to know how to do it. Children must be educated so that they know that during the table there is no television or telephones, because this is a sacred moment to share as a family.
Educate the Christian community. Sex education is essential, especially in these times, where our young people are completely emotionally illiterate on the subject of sexuality. They are not capable of integrating the bodily affective dynamisms to give life and to receive the other.
What integrates affective feelings is the virtue of chastity, a topic that today causes a lot of laughter. Integrate the dynamisms, the sexual impulses, the affections, the desires to be able to donate myself as a person and receive you as a person, that is called chastity.
It is what helps us to love in a human way, it helps us to love in a free way, not in a conditioned or enslaved way; The section dedicated to sexual education is very remarkable and admirable, and also entitled: “Yes to sexual education”.
He congratulates the educational institutions that have decided to take on the great challenge of educating on sex, at a time when sexuality loses real value and is obtained more and more easily, without restrictions or any kind of responsibility. Educate love, for an authentic, responsible and reciprocal delivery of lovers.
Also, value is given to the expression “safe sex”, emphasizing that it conveys “a negative attitude towards the natural procreative purpose of sexuality, as if a possible child were an enemy from which one must protect oneself. This promotes narcissistic aggressiveness instead of acceptance.
In simpler words, sex begins to be seen as something more natural and not a taboo subject as it has been seen before. Of course, bet on the practice in a responsible manner and from an education guided and directed by the parents themselves, but also by the Church.
Eighth chapter: “Accompany, discern and integrate fragility”
“Accompany, discern and integrate” three extremely fundamental aspects to face fragile, irregular or complex situations. This leads us to ask ourselves, discernment for what? To know how I am before the will of God? How does God see me? what is my truth before him?
In this chapter the way is the word, the way is a person, and that person is Christ. “I am the way, the truth and the life”, therefore, things acquire their light and their truth in their just measure of Christ, but how do I make this discernment?
Accompaniment: All situations must be accompanied, but who should generate this accompaniment? what pedagogy and methodology? We do not have it! what preparation? We do not have it! So, a great and enormous challenge arrives: how do we accompany? under what methods? with what preparation?
The pope speaks of the law of gradualness, that is to say, that this accompaniment process is not from one day to the next, it is a process of years, which requires knowing how to mature.
This eighth chapter must be treated with great delicacy, understanding it is keeping in mind that “often, the task of the Church resembles that of a field hospital”, that is, the Churches must help us to understand ourselves better and help heal our spiritual and emotional wounds through God’s love and prayer.
Also, it shows us what Christian marriage is and adds that “other forms of union radically contradict this ideal, but some realize it at least in a partial and analogous way”.
In correlation to the “discernment” about certain “irregular” situations, the Pope observes with great concern the number of trials to which people with homosexual tendencies or orientations live and suffer.
And it invites us to pay more attention to the judgments we make “unintentionally” because we do not know what their magnitude may be. It also invites us not to judge them, mistreat them, humiliate them or point us in some way. To treat them with the respect they deserve because even if they are wrong, it is not a decision by choice.
Wouldn’t it be better and more humane to try to make everyone feel integrated? Accompany and guide them so that from their belief or condition they can find a better path and feel free, without fear and love like everyone else.
Wouldn’t it be more Christian not to accept them as they are in a merciful way? And rather, treat them with so much love that they feel part of the ecclesial community. Where is our “unmerited, unconditional and free” mercy that Jesus taught us?
Let’s reflect: If it were our son or daughter, or a family member that we care about, would we like them to be the victim of ridicule and humiliation because of their condition?
Integration: Provide participation, but in what? in the life of the community. The pope, in this sense, tells us that we must each find a way to participate. There are no standards, there is no waiting.
It is not necessary to wait for a new canonical regulation, it simply follows what it is, and expresses it in chapter 300: “Accompaniment by priests, according to the teachings of the Church and the orientations of the bishops”; See what rules to discern, before God, what is my truth?
And two logics: the logic of mercy and the logic of charity. A beautiful prayer described in Ordinary Time goes like this: When speaking of God’s omnipotence and saying: “O God, who has manifested your power, in a particular way, in forgiveness and mercy.”
That is the true omnipotence of God, the forgiveness and mercy that recreates the person, the new faith.
The Pope makes an extremely important statement so that we better understand what it represents and the meaning of orientation and sense of Amoris laetitia summary :
This tells us that if we clearly keep in mind the situations to which families are exposed, then as religious, bishops, guides and voice of God on earth we should not wait for a synod or the publication of an apostolic exhortation to accompany and guide our believers in these daily challenges that we also face.
And he emphasizes that this new personal and pastoral perspective, although it may not have the same degree of relevance as a dogma of faith, must still be put into practice, since it is part of the responsibility acquired as representatives of God and points out that “the consequences or effects of a norm do not necessarily always have to be the same”.
The Pope develops in a very profound way what should be the characteristics of the path outlined in the summary document Amoris laetitia in order to achieve a true and genuine accompaniment and a sincere and close dialogue between the faithful and pastors.
This invites the Church to reflect “on the conditions and extenuating circumstances.” Relying on Saint Thomas Aquinas, she stops to explain in detail the relationship between “norms and discernment”, affirming then that:
Although it is still a reality that the rules represent a resource designed for the good of all, these particular situations should not be neglected, but neither should seek to cover each one of them in a profound and individual way. For this reason, what is included as part of a practical discernment cannot be radically considered as a “norm”.
He also tells us: “Understanding exceptional situations never implies hiding the light of the fullest ideal or proposing less than what Jesus offers to the human being. Today, more important than a pastoral care of failures is the pastoral effort to consolidate marriages and thus prevent breakups”.
There is not the slightest doubt that the Pope wants to impress on the pastoral care of the Church a message of union and participation between it and its believers, expressing:
The Pope invites believers to approach their pastors with absolute confidence, since they live devoted to the Lord and although they do not always find confirmation of their beliefs, without a doubt, they will be able to give them fresh perspectives, from a different approach, but one that will help them. to solve or face their problems in the best way.
Laity and pastors always receive lights from our Lord God, so they will probably be able to better understand what calms you down and give you a loving, empathetic response that also brings you new ways of seeing, understanding and accepting the challenges of life. life.
And he continues: In an invitation now to pastors and laity to know how to listen to their people in a loving and attentive way, to practice respect and provide them with that guide and new lights that their faithful require.
Also, it invites the representatives of God to understand in a merciful way the dramas that disturb the hearts of his faithful, and from a listening and reflection then offer tender, consoling words that transmit calm, that allow them to live better and recognize his place in the Church.
Now, on the “logic of pastoral mercy” mentioned above in previous paragraphs, Pope Francis strongly affirms:
“Sometimes it is very difficult for us to give place in pastoral care to the unconditional love of God. We put so many conditions on mercy that we empty it of concrete meaning and real significance, and that is the worst way to dilute the Gospel.”
Chapter ninth: “Marital and family spirituality”
A chapter dedicated entirely to marital and family spirituality, and tells us that these are “made of thousands of real and concrete gestures” and that “moments of joy, rest or celebration, and even sexuality, are experienced as a participation in the full life of his Resurrection.
Chapter 316 is extremely important, so we dare to share it: “Spirituality is embodied in family communion. Those who have deep spiritual desires should not feel that the family distances them from growth in the life of the spirit, but that it is a path that the Lord uses to take them to the summit of mystical union.
Here goes the theme then, marriage shines to reach the mystical union, not only the path of contemplation, of the religious. We must not settle for pecking at the ground, or praying an Our Father, but waiting for my mystical union in my ordinary life.
This is a reflection of the pope (he does not appear in the synods), the pope speaks of “Being disappointed in the other. “There is a point where the couple’s love reaches its greatest liberation and becomes a space of healthy autonomy, when each one discovers that the other is not theirs, but has a much more important owner, their only Lord. No one else can pretend to take possession of the most personal and secret intimacy of the loved one.
Yes, it sounds contradictory, but let’s explain it: There is no clearer reality than your husband or wife does not belong to you, only God can occupy the center of that life. Perhaps, we give ourselves completely and sincerely to our spouse but we are a finite being, so I cannot encompass the infinity of my spouse, because only God can have access to his center, we cannot get there.
At the same time, the principle of spiritual realism means that the spouse no longer expects the other to completely satisfy his needs. So, the spouse cannot fully satisfy us because he is a limited being.
It is necessary that the spiritual path of each one helps him to “disappoint” with the other, to stop expecting from that person, what only God can give. The other cannot give us that, no matter how much he loves us and how much he loves us. This requires an interior stripping, holy indifference.
The exclusive space of each one of the spouses, reserves their special treatment with God, allowing not only to heal the wounds of coexistence, but also makes it possible to find the love of God, the meaning of one’s own existence.
God spent hours praying with his father, this he did to heal his wounds. Of course, as the Son of God he didn’t need it, but as a man, he did. There he healed everything that he could not understand, the hardness of the apostles who did not understand, the hardness of the Pharisees… among others.
If this was done by God incarnate as a man, then the spouse cannot try to be on a ground that belongs only to God. In the deep core of the human being, only God is the husband, only he marries himself there, only he can enter. And it is he who is by our side in moments of absolute loneliness.
It is God, who is by our side in difficult situations, when we have to take an exam, or face an operation, only he is there, fighting our battles and celebrating our achievements. Only God knows our fears, only God knows our deepest thoughts and feelings, only God knows our greatest dreams, only God knows us completely and absolutely, he was the one who created us, he is our Father.
The Pope affirms that no family is exempt from imperfection, problems or crises, despite this, once established, a maturation process begins that will allow them to understand each other better, tolerate each other, accept each other, and even celebrate their differences and have a more harmonious life, where problems are faced as a team and not individually.
We must all try not to keep the tension alive, but rather learn to give in, to negotiate, by then the point will come where all those involved feel heard, taken into account and well, despite not agreeing on everything.
We must learn to see problems from a new perspective, that is, to see beyond the obvious, beyond our own limits and beliefs. Understand that now we are family, we are not alone and therefore we must promote freedom and well-being as a constant stimulus to live fully.
And he tells us: “Let’s walk families, let’s keep walking! (…) Let us not despair because of our limits, but neither let us give up seeking the fullness of love and communion that has been promised to us”.
Amoris Laetitia in 30 puntos
We have already made a summary of the chapters contained in the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia summary , detailing and developing each point in the simplest way so that it can be understood (and analyzed) in a simpler way.
Now, we are also going to break down, in detail, 30 points contained in the Amoris laetitia summary , which we briefly mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Let us take a brief pause here, since we consider it important to highlight that in its pages there is a more open look, which is quite positive, and we see how with each chapter it is nurtured until it leads us to seek pastoral care and a deeper rapprochement between Churches, servants of God and believers.
We can say that reading this document, although it can be quite dense, is full of spiritual suggestions and practical wisdom, which can be very useful to couples or people who sincerely want to build a family despite the difficulties and challenges that this entails.
Continuing with the theme, let us then define these 30 important points:
Love, symbol of the intimate realities of God
The Pope reminds us that the Bible is full of families, love stories and family crises that, despite the fact that new generations have joined, continue to maintain an upbringing based on love and faith, following the path of God. In these current times it is important to reflect, are we really following those examples?
Also, we can see examples of many couples who love and generate life from love without judgment, from the acceptance of children and who also celebrate, know and await this new life happily and joyfully.
Individualism and demographic decline
At this point, an exhaustive and profound analysis is made of the “challenges” that families face today. Also, it shows us in detail how we have deviated from the path of God, thinking and acting in a selfish, individualistic way and without caring about the consequences of our actions.
It is quite sad that today, children are being educated from a distorted “freedom” approach where they assume as reality that freedom is “doing what you like, how you like, with whomever you like and when you like” or my parents take me own wishes.
We are creating generations of children who believe they are worthy and do not know limits, they are not interested in rules and the only thing that interests them is to satisfy their own desires and needs.
Where do we leave the warmth and affection? Where do we think of the other? At what point do we meditate on the consequences of our actions?
Also, it reminds us again that the Church rejects a “popular voice” any State intervention in favor of contraception such as abortion or sterilization. She makes it very clear to us that it is an action that she rejects with all her might and classifies it as “unacceptable” despite the circumstance or if the place has a high birth rate.
A life is a life and must be preserved. A child is a blessing from God and as such highlights that he must accept you even though this has not been planned. We must thank and family members must also be filled with joy, wait and ensure that the expected boy or girl feels loved.
There are many families whose greatest desire is to have a family but they cannot, while others can but do not want to. It is part of life, of understanding and accepting what God gives us and why he does it. Perhaps, although we find an unplanned child incomprehensible and frustrating, this came to teach us something and we must accept it.
Pope Francis tells us that a family and a home go hand in hand and claim each other. Therefore, he insists on the rights of families to enjoy decent housing so that they can formalize their relationship.
If a family does not have the necessary resources to subsist and offer their children a decent life, then how can they join in holy matrimony? How can they think of children if they barely have the resources to survive individually?
The social aspect is often left aside, it is downplayed or it is not given the required one. Of course, other factors also come into play here, such as upbringing, responsible sex, preparation, formal and sexual education of individuals. If there is no education, how can you live consciously and responsibly?
The Pope repeatedly emphasizes that “The family is a good that society cannot do without, but it needs to be protected.”
Child exploitation, especially sexual exploitation, is an issue that has always generated feelings of rage, impotence and scandals, however, it is worrying that it manifests itself so regularly that it seems like a never-ending problem.
Scandal and perversion, morbidity, inhumanism, are some of the words that come to mind when we talk about child or sexual exploitation.
It is alarming and heartbreaking the number of children who live on the streets, who have been forced to leave their childhood aside and assume the role of father and mother of their younger siblings and use robbery, drugs or allow themselves to be abused to have daily bread or not feel hungry.
A child is the street is an easy victim to suffer violence of different types (physical, verbal, emotional, sexual), the presence of organized crime and even the consequences of a war.
Sexual abuse of children is classified as more scandalous and perverse when it occurs in places where, in theory, they should be cared for. For example, by the consent of an alcoholic or drug addict mother, schools, relatives, Christian institutions (Francis complaint).
Misery, euthanasia and other plagues
Among the “serious threats” to families around the world, the Pope highlights two in particular: euthanasia and assisted suicide. After various profound reflections on the situation to which “families immersed in misery, punished in so many ways, where the limits of life are lived in a lacerating way” are exposed, he concludes that the “plague” of drug addiction, “which it makes many families suffer, and often ends up destroying them. Something similar happens with alcoholism, gambling and other addictions”.
Of course, it is not easy for a person to be so exposed to vices, to have to mature before their time, not to enjoy childhood, and to have to adapt to survive not to fall into temptations, however, if we seek God we can always find that support that we require, and then become good men and women.
Violence only generates more violence, therefore, it is also important that the Church becomes more involved in rescuing and directing these apparently lost souls.
Do not weaken the family
Weakening the family does not “benefit society” in any way, on the contrary, “it harms the maturation of people, the cultivation of community values and the ethical development of cities and towns.”
Pope Francis also tells us that “it is no longer clearly seen that only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman fulfills a full social function”, while “de facto unions or unions between people of the same sex, for example They cannot simply be equated with marriage. No union that is precarious or closed to the communication of life assures us the future of society”.
Uterus rental, infibulation, violence
In paragraph 54 of the summary Amoris laetitia , the Pope speaks to us about the rights of women, indicating that it is unacceptable “the shameful violence that is sometimes exercised against women, family abuse and different forms of slavery that do not constitute a sample masculine strength but a cowardly degradation.
Of course, it is disturbing to think that in a sacred union such as Marriage where love, tenderness, respect and communication must exist and prevail, we find violence and mistreatment, especially towards a being as wonderful and special as a woman. .
A woman is not special because she is the creator of life, she is a mother, she is a guide, she is the one who teaches us and raises us, gently forms us, so treating her in the same way should be the only scenario, especially in a marriage. Obviously, here there must be an education free of machismo.
Pope Francis also makes reference in the Amoris laetitia summary about infibulation, that is, genital mutilation in women (in some cultures) that makes them feel nullified and they grow up believing things like “sex is bad” and that only they are objects for male satisfaction.
Here the obvious and unfair inequality between men and women at the professional level is also highlighted, where many times, they are victims of blackmail and abuse, undignified jobs and ignored in decision-making.
Women are made to give birth, but not to be treated and humiliated like baby-making machines. Sometimes, they are violated in inhumane ways, mistreated, humiliated, and even forced to sell their bodies. They are not treated as people or as objects, and this must be severely punished.
The unique thought of the “gender” ideology
Only a few lines of the apostolic exhortation document are dedicated to “gender”, better known as “gender theories”. We can summarize this ideology as: one that “denies the difference and the natural reciprocity of men and women”, presents “a society without gender differences, and empties the anthropological foundation of the family.
Pope Francis expresses with concern that it is this ideology that tries to show itself as a unique thought and be part of the education of children adjusted to what it professes.
No to the “factory” of children
At this point, the Pope emphasizes that children should not be the result of genetic manipulation, much less the product of forced relationships, in a compulsory and/or abusive manner, and warns us not to fall into the sin of pretending to replace our Creator.
Human life, as well as fatherhood and motherhood, seem to have become realities “made to order”, subject mainly to the wishes of individuals or couples.
Educating children, “primary right” of parents
We can better appreciate this point in the third chapter of the exhortation Amoris laetitia summary , where Pope Francis explains to us (in a very beautiful way too) the meaning of the sacrament of marriage.
It clearly expresses to us that marriage “is not a social convention”, but rather, a gift granted by God for the sanctification and salvation of the spouses”, that is, marriage is a true “vocation”.
Also, he explains, that marriage is not at all the partial or absolute loss of our freedom, on the contrary, “the decision to marry and create a family must be the result of a vocational discernment”, a decision to share together with that person all the challenges brought by the different stages and crises present throughout life in holy matrimony.
Conjugal love must always be open to the divine act of procreating and educating children, and this is a right that must not be taken away from them; Obligations and responsibilities must be shared. It is not the duty to be that only one of the parties is the one who is in charge of only the upbringing, education or guidance of the children.
Both parents have decided to bring a new life into this world, which is why it is also fair that both parties get involved in this parenting process and support each other.
instructions on love
We have extensively developed this point in the fourth chapter of the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia summary , and we could say that it is one of the most innovative. In this chapter, the Pope offers us a paraphrase of Saint Paul’s Hymn to Charity, taking from it specific indications for married couples.
Inviting them to practice reciprocal “patience”, without pretending that “relationships are heavenly or that people are perfect”, because we are human, imperfect, we make mistakes and we are sinners.
Also, it makes us reflect on the fact of not believing that because that person is our husband or wife by right he belongs to us, in fact, nobody belongs to us. And most importantly, we should not pretend to place ourselves or be “the center” of our partner’s life, because that position can only be occupied by God with his divinity.
Amoris laetitia summarizes at this point that it invites us to love each other, to give ourselves without expecting anything in return and to trust the other. Not to be envious, boastful, arrogant, insufferable, or believe that the world revolves around us. To be more humble and avoid highlighting “defects and errors of others.”
It also invites us to never end our day “without making peace with the family”, to speak and communicate without rancor, showing the virtues of our spouse instead of their defects. To trust the other and not seek to control him. Learn to respect our autonomy and independence and celebrate our achievements remembering that “the most intense joys in life arise when you can cause the happiness of others” and not just our own.
message to young people
The Pope sends a clear message to young people, due to the “seriousness” of the “public commitment of love”, marriage “cannot be a hasty decision”, but it must not be allowed to pass “indefinitely”.
Something that caught our attention in this chapter was the understanding that committing ourselves forever, be it to a person, a project, or a religious vocation, is somewhat complicated since in the past people were born, lived and worked only in one thing.
On the contrary, in these modern times, routine and new difficulties force us to be born in one place, study in another, work in various places, and have thousands of spaces that consume our life and time, so how can we commit “to lifetime”?
It also expresses the importance of learning to “give time” and know how to listen to the spouse, let him speak before “starting to give opinions or advice.”
Sexuality, “wonderful gift”
Desires, feelings, emotions, “occupy an important place in marriage”, but… We cannot pretend that they last forever. Relationships evolve, therefore, feelings also evolve.
Pope Francis cites Benedict XVI to explain that the official teaching of the Church “has not rejected eros as such, but has declared war on its deviation”, which “dehumanizes” it. God himself “created sexuality, which is a wonderful gift for his creatures.”
John Paul II always rejected the idea that the Church’s teaching is to tolerate sex “for the necessity of procreation.” The sexual need of the spouses is not, nor should it be “an object of contempt”.
However, we cannot ignore that sometimes sexuality ends up becoming an instrument of affirmation of one’s own self and of clearly satisfying one’s own desires and that it only obeys our instinct.
Sex is becoming easier to achieve and values and virtues seem to be part of oblivion, which is why the Pope insists that “a conjugal act imposed on the spouse without considering their current situation and their legitimate desires, is not a true act of love.” Therefore, “all forms of sexual submission” must be rejected.
Refreshing a little the Pope’s reference about the love, acceptance and joy of a child despite the circumstances, both by their parents and other members of the family, because a child always represents a blessing from God, and of course , a teaching.
Certainly, a child is always a blessing, but it must also be a decision and not a mistake, because this child has the right to be expected, desired, known and loved. It should be a reason for joy and not for anguish, or regret.
A child, despite arriving unexpectedly, should not be seen or made to feel like a “mistake”, should not be physically or verbally affected by simple frustration and irresponsibility on the part of the parents. If you can’t control your cravings, then abstinence may be the best option.
In addition, the sexual act is not a purely biological act, but rather it is a delivery, accepting the spouse and receiving the other. This is why it is the maximum expression of love between a married couple.
Large families are “a joy for the Church”, although this does not mean forgetting a “healthy warning” made by the remembered John Paul II: “Responsible parenthood is not unlimited procreation”.
Pope Francis reminds us that it is important that “the child feels expected”. “A son is loved because he is a son, not because he is beautiful or because he is one way or another; no, because he is a son! Not because he thinks like me or embodies my desires.”
The Pope addresses all pregnant women, expressing to them: “That child deserves your joy. Don’t let fears, worries, other people’s comments or problems turn off that happiness of being God’s instrument to bring new life to the world”.
The presence of a mother…
This document tells us that it is “fully legitimate” and “desirable” for women to study, work in what they are passionate about, develop their own skills and goals, but, at the same time, “we cannot ignore the need for children from the maternal presence, especially in the first months of life”.
Yes, the presence of a mother is important in this initial stage of a mother, however, it is also the responsibility of the father, to share this task, since he also decided to bring a life to this world, and it is part of the commitment acquired after the “Yes I accept”.
The decrease in the maternal presence, “with its feminine qualities is a serious risk for our land”. Bergoglio comments “I value feminism when it does not seek uniformity or the denial of motherhood.”
…and absent parents
One of the great challenges in these modern times is “the absence of parents”. Obviously, the pace of life has forced parents to focus more on work and job responsibilities than on raising children.
The fact that grandparents are the ones who, in most cases, end up “raising” their grandchildren has already been normalized because their parents must fight to be able to get their daily bread fairly.
Our responsibilities, jobs and routines should not be a reason to excuse ourselves and neglect our children. Likewise, as we acquire a commitment as a couple, it is also necessary to acquire and above all, assume, paternity and maternity.
It is not about simply giving in to our desires, giving birth to a child and putting it aside for our personal or work commitments, in fact, the greatest commitment after a child should be this, or at least try to maintain or obtain a balance between our work and personal responsibilities with our responsibility as a parent.
The paternal presence “is also affected by the increasing time devoted to the media and the technology of distraction”, which is why we must educate our children with rules, values and virtues. An example of this, respecting the family meal without interruptions from televisions, phones, tablets, games or any other.
Asking for the father to be present is not synonymous with becoming a controlling father, because those who act in this way only annul the children. It is important not to fall into the obsession of wanting to know where they are, who they are with or what they are doing at all times.
Let us guide them and give them freedom. Let’s trust them, and if they fail, then they will be punished. Every act has a consequence and they must keep it in mind.
yes to adoptions
The family should not be conceived as “isolated from everything else, but rather, perceived as a unit, as that space where I feel good, calm, understood and listened to. A space where I feel loved and valued and not that limits me and prevents me from fulfilling my wishes.
God has entrusted families with a great mission: to make the world domestic, that is, that space where I can learn, grow, develop and add value as an individual and, in turn, contribute to my community, society, the country, and even to the world, because we all come from God, and we are all brothers.
Adoption is a totally valid and very beautiful act of love. It is accepting with love, knowing and guiding a person who, despite not being a “son” by blood, is from the heart, and this makes him a part of us, it should not be a reason for shame and it is a wonderful option for those who cannot procreate.
An adopted child should not feel isolated, on the contrary, he should feel loved, accepted and included among parents, family, uncles, cousins, and even neighbors. Perhaps, there are larger families that suffer from lack, and need help, affection, company or consolation, so, like the brothers that we are, we are there to support, accompany and comfort each other.
The Pope expresses the importance of facilitating the adoption process, so that it is not such a stressful and traumatic process for parents who already suffer enough from the fact of not being able to procreate on their own. Furthermore, he expresses that this would imply a new degree of commitment towards the poor and those who suffer.
Make the elderly feel at home
Sometimes, as young people, we make the mistake of thinking that we will be young all our lives, of not thinking, or not accepting, that at some point in our lives we will also reach that stage. So how would we like to be treated? Would we like to be treated as we treat older people? If the answer is “Yes”, great, but if your answer is “No”, then change.
We must promote a sense of gratitude as a collective, a sense of appreciation, responsibility, and very importantly, respect, that make older people feel that they are an important part of the community and also of the Church.
They are wise, have a lot of experience and have been responsible for transforming their children into good men and women, so we must respect them and make them feel important.
Pope Francis stressed that “care for the elderly “speaks of the quality of a civilization”, what kind of civilization do we want to be? A civilized one, which integrates and gives an adequate degree of importance to each of its members, or a wild society, where only instincts predominate.
The document also contains an invitation not to consider as “invaders” the in-laws, mothers-in-law, or other relatives of the spouse. They only seek to take care of us and make us happy. If they tell you something, they don’t mean it.
Families “active subjects” of the pastoral
In the sixth chapter of Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis asks his community and brothers of God (laity, bishops, religious in general) for an evangelizing and catechetical effort directed at the family, in addition to a missionary conversion on the part of the entire Church, so that these guidelines are not reflected in a document, but rather become a reality.
And people feel that they are really being heard and approach the Church because they feel that for the first time the challenges that afflict them are being heard. do not stay “in a merely theoretical announcement and unrelated to the real problems of people.”
Family ministry “must make people experience that the Gospel of the family responds to the deepest expectations of the human person.”
Also, emphasis is placed on the need for greater interdisciplinary and not only doctrinal training of seminarians, to deal with the complex problems that families present today. How? Integrating and involving the Church and its believers.
preparation for marriage
The Pope repeatedly insists on the requirement and the need to prepare the couple for marriage, to educate them in such a way that they dedicate adequate time to get to know each other in depth and to discover if both are really prepared to assume such a role. .
He emphasizes that each local Church must choose how to do it, but obviously, a course of about 10 hours is not enough. And just as efforts are dedicated to university or professional studies, they should also be dedicated to this preparation, which starts from the childhood training of the bride and groom.
One of the greatest challenges of today highlighted by Amoris laetitia summary is to Educate and Generate Christians and Christians. Educate our young people with Christian values. It is sad, but it is something that is not being achieved, and this has resulted in the reduction of faith, and a significant reduction (or to say alarming) of baptisms and marriages, these being important foundations of society and the community. Christian.
What is it about then? That the sacrament of marriage be seen as that which provides us with the necessary elements and to be able to assume it with some solidity in this new stage of family life.
In some countries, commercial dates such as Valentine’s Day are more used, for example, by merchants than by pastors, where do we leave the valuable resources of the Church?
The process of “preparation for marriage” offers us the possibility of recognizing these incompatibilities, differences or risks during courtship, whether or not it is betting everything on that relationship, we simply expose ourselves to a foreseeable failure with very painful consequences.
“Too focused on preparations”
Another point that was extremely relevant to us, is that during the pre-wedding, the bride and groom often do not understand the spiritual importance of their consent, of that “Yes, I accept”, on the contrary, they focus on more irrelevant details. and superficial like the invitations, the dresses, the party and the innumerable details that only consume the budget, the energy and the joy. It is not surprising that the bride and groom then arrive exhausted and totally overwhelmed at the marriage.
The Pope gives a message to the couple: so that they dare to be different, have their own rules and do not get carried away by what society expects of them. Also, he tells them to share, not to lose their tenderness or let themselves be consumed and distanced by technology.
He also tells them that marriage should be a path that is enjoyed despite the ups and downs, a process where we continue to improve and always bet and encourage the other to be better, without manipulating or controlling him, where there should be no expectations, but accept marriage as it is with love.
Yes a la “Human life”
Pope Francis asks to discover the letter of Paul VI and the “Familiaris consortio” of Pope Wojtyla, “to counterbalance a mentality often hostile to life”.
Advice to young spouses
The Pope suggests some “daily rituals”. “It is good to always kiss each other in the morning, bless each other every night, wait for the other and receive him when he arrives, have an outing together, share housework.” And it is also good to interrupt “the routine with this, not to lose the ability to celebrate as a family, to rejoice and celebrate beautiful experiences.”
crises are fixed
Crises, especially in marriage, are common, inevitable too, and with “adequate help and with the reconciling action of grace, a large percentage of marital crises are successfully overcome.”
Throughout married life, various crises will go through: economic, social, personal, work, with the arrival of a child, their upbringing, and many more, but each of these must be faced as a team, wisdom, understanding and much more. support between both spouses.
“Knowing how to forgive and feel forgiven is a fundamental experience in family life.” To achieve this, it is sometimes necessary “the generous collaboration of family and friends, and sometimes even external and professional help.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, to express your feelings, to say how you feel, to be honest with each other. Well, this will help them understand each other, accept their mistakes and strengthen themselves as a couple, as a marriage.
Never use children as “hostages”
Pope Francis asks separated parents to never use their children as an instrument of manipulation or to submit the other to our wishes.
Separating is not easy, accepting a break is going through a painful stage of mourning, mixed feelings and confusion, but “for many difficulties and reasons, life has given them this test, but it is not the children who carry the weight of this separation. , that they are not used as hostages against the other spouse”.
Children should grow up “hearing that the mother speaks well of the father, even if they are not together, and that the father speaks well of the mother.” Never, under any circumstances, should we speak ill of our ex-partner, for some reason, they came to unite their lives at some point and the best thing they can do (not only for you, but also for the children) is to have a healthy, friendly and as harmonic as possible.
The Pope affirms that divorce is “an evil”, and defines the increase in divorces as “alarming”. Currently, the lack of knowledge between the couple and their lack of preparation leads to absurd fights and withdrawal in the face of any crisis, no matter how small, when we should rather learn to give in, negotiate and respect each other.
homosexuality in family
The experience of having children with homosexual tendencies is a traumatic and often misunderstood experience for both parents and children, who, due to their youth, feel frustrated at not being able to understand why they feel this way?
Understanding this, accepting it, is a stage that requires a lot of support, especially from a professional, who guides both parties on how to handle the situation and that parents can accept the conditions of their children, and in turn, the children do not feel guilty and manage to understand and accept each other too.
The Pope insists and highlights in Amoris laetitia that “every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, must be respected in their dignity and received with respect, trying to avoid any sign of unjust discrimination.”
Love is love regardless of its form. Just as we are men and we are attracted to a woman, and vice versa, the same happens with these people of different preference.
For this reason, the Pope insists on “ensuring a respectful accompaniment, and that they can also count on the necessary help to fully understand and carry out the will of God in their lives.”
That, yes, re-emphasizes that homosexual unions cannot be compared to Christian marriages.
The “sting” of death
The Pope reminds us of the importance of accompanying families affected by mourning, we know from our own experience that it is a very sour and bitter, heartbreaking experience.
The Pope affirms that “we must help discover that those of us who have lost a loved one still have a mission to fulfill, and that it does us no good to want to prolong the suffering.”
It is okay to feel bad, to go through the grieving process, but not to stay in this stage for a long time, since we can fall into a depression from which it will be very difficult to get out. Here once again, the importance of being and feeling accompanied or asking for professional help.
Who guides our children?
In the seventh chapter of the Amoris laetitia summary we can note this point in a broken down way, where the education of children is discussed.
Pope Francis invites us to ask ourselves who is in charge of giving them fun? Who do we trust with our free time? Are we really educating them or is a screen doing it? Who are those friends who “know” through a screen? You always have to be vigilant, but without invading, obsessing or overwhelming us.
We must give young people a vote of confidence, after all, weren’t we the ones who raised them? Who guides you? Who educated them with values? So why hesitate?
Yes, young people are tremendous, curious, but also, if we trust them, they will respond positively to our show of faith. Let’s look at it from this perspective: If they want to do something, they will do it, with or without our consent, and even right under our noses and we won’t notice.
It would not be easier for us to be there for them, to clarify their concerns and for them to trust us enough to tell us “their problems” and be able to guide them in the right way. The other scenario is that we overwhelm them to the point that they “run away” from us and seek guidance from others, what will be better then?
Of course, parents must prepare them to face “risks, for example, of aggression, abuse or drug addiction”, but, if a parent “is obsessed with knowing where his son is and with controlling his every movement, he will only seek to dominate his space” will not educate you, much less “prepare you to meet challenges” on your own.
Let’s think for a moment, do we seek to educate independent children, capable of making their own decisions and saying “NO” without guilt? Or on the contrary, we want to educate dependent children, who do not know what to do, what to say or how to act if we are not by their side.
How to educate?
“Moral” education and training should be carried out “intuitively”, with the aim that children and young people can discover themselves, understand their value and understand the importance of certain values, adhere to and comply with the principles and norms and not see it as an imposition or irrefutable truth.
In today’s world, in constant evolution, “in which anxiety and technological haste reign, a very important task for families is to educate for the ability to wait.”
Learning to wait is important, it gives children and young people a great lesson: Everything has a time. Whether it’s an exam, preparing a meal, or more important things, like a career, dating, preparing for marriage, having a child.
The summary Amoris laetitia highlights that a great challenge for families is this fast-paced life that makes us feel anguish and a high degree of stress for not being able to obtain immediate results, we feel that if we do not achieve things, stop now! we are failures. Parents should try to be an example for our children and motivate them to practice waiting.
It is not a matter of “prohibiting” young people from playing and having fun with electronic devices, but rather, finding a way to generate in them that ability to differentiate the various logics and not apply digital speed to all areas. of the life”.
Let’s remember, parents are guides, example, but not their jailers. Let’s encourage them to be themselves, accept themselves and be authentic. Let’s promote independence and not condemn them to a life dependent on mom, dad, relatives or partners.
The danger of “technological autism”
Electronic media in many cases (if we don’t know how to handle it) “remove instead of zoom in”. An example of this would be when at mealtime, a family and sacred moment to share, but it becomes an isolation, where each member is focused on their mobile.
Another example could be when one of the spouses gives in to sleep, while the other spends hours distracted with some electronic device, where is then the sharing of the spouses?
We must not ignore the risks of these new technologies and new “ways of communicating” . In fact, we must pay special attention in this regard to children and adolescents, since these are the ones who are most seduced by these new technologies.
If we add to this the absence of parents, it is alarming that children and young people are being “raised” by screens, tablets, “friends” that they do not really know. Due to their curiosity and innocence, they are the most exposed and sometimes they can even become apathetic, that is, people disconnected from the real world.
This kind of “technological autism” exposes them more easily and makes them easy prey for “virtual friends” of whom we also know nothing, and can lead to serious situations such as kidnapping, rape, among others.
There are many people who are only on the internet, behind a computer or a cell phone, waiting for the ideal moment to take advantage of their innocence. It is important not to fall into paranoia either, but to guide them and set limits on both time and the activities they carry out or the pages they visit.
The exhortation says yes to sexual education, that it has “a healthy modesty”, and also to an education that accustoms children to understand that men can (and should) do housework.
Formerly, household activities were classified as “women’s role” clearly. This type of behavior is admirable and should be promoted. It is not about subjugating man, but about sharing responsibilities.
It is essential that “the children see in a concrete way that for their parents prayer is really important” in the life of every person. Prayer is powerful, it is our direct and intimate communication with God.
Prayer to the Holy Family
A beautiful prayer that invites us to live and enjoy true love, as the Family of Nazareth did, to follow their example of family, communion and faith in God.
Also, it is a prayer for those less fortunate families, who go through stronger problems, addictions, violence, so that all pain, violence is eradicated and healed.
Emilly Stefan The Fear lab was an American author of young adult novels, most known for her fantasy series, Age of the Seventh Sun.