Amoris Laetitia 5: Aiming To Virtues

amoris laetitia memeAs always, I recommend going to the source here: Amoris Laetitia. The Jubilee we observe these days is the context for this document:

5. This Exhortation is especially timely in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. First, because it represents an invitation to Christian families to value the gifts of marriage and the family, and to persevere in a love strengthened by the virtues of generosity, commitment, fidelity and patience. Second, because it seeks to encourage everyone to be a sign of mercy and closeness wherever family life remains imperfect or lacks peace and joy.

A small paragraph, but a good one. Consider those four virtues mentioned for the strengthening of the family. If I were leading a group discussion in my parish, I would ask the participants to ponder the ways they are generous, committed, faithful, and patient. Which is the strongest quality in your family? Which needs the most work? Reflecting on the positive question is important, as family members first need to see where their inherent strengths lie.

In Marriage Encounter, my wife and I learned how to dialogue in their system. Partners separate to write a response to a reflection question. They then come back together, exchange notes, read, and reflect from there. It would be interesting for a couple to see where their strongest virtue is and the one that needs the most work. How many couples would agree? Even if in disagreement, it would be a movement of drawing closer.

We might be getting ahead of ourselves talking about marriage prep, but engaged couples also can utilize a reflection on these four virtues as they explore their mutual love. The application for the pastoral minister would be to explore the Scriptures, especially the ones that could be selected for the Rite of Marriage. Making connections like this is vital for the spiritual formation of the Church: people, Scripture, virtues–they all interconnect, and invite us to go deeper.

Other thoughts on these virtues, or anything else we’ve read so far?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Amoris Laetitia 5: Aiming To Virtues

  1. Church documents are often deliberately ambiguous . This one is predictably so . It was written by a committee , not a single person . There was no indication that the Holy Spirit made sure that the sentences and paragraphs were formulated in unambiguous discursive language . One only has to read the comments on the various websites to see what mischief has been wrought . It is clear that the metaphorical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been released upon both the sacramental priesthood and the priesthood of the laity . One can hear the drumming of the hoof beats as I type .  I for one will read , think , pray and consult my confessor ; and then I will follow my well-informed conscience . I am sorry that the needs of the 2.2 billion Catholics have disturbed the quiet of the Vatican corridors. We should all go back to leading our separate lives .Perhaps the priest should go back  to facing the wall when he celebrates Mass .

    • Todd says:

      Thanks for commenting, Richard. I might suggest the commenters whom you are referencing are reading with the eyes of the world. Living separate lives, for example, is what contemporary American secular culture would urge. The powers that be divide and conquer. Acts 2:42-47 would seem to be a salve for that.

      Some people who look for facts, decisions, mandates, and surety. This is the way science and reason work. And it’s not a bad thing to know the Earth spins on its axis; we want to know the sun comes up tomorrow. Or the Earth revolves around the sun: seasons come and go in repeating cycles. But matters of the human heart, and of the spiritual life are not so clean cut: read any saint to know that. Did St Teresa of Jesus really build a castle, or was it a metaphor?

      One can choose to read Amoris Laetitia or not. Or read it however one wishes–with the eyes of reception or of suspicion. But every believer is rather obliged to seek God, and seek holiness, and if doing so with the written word, to begin with the Bible and the liturgy and pray from there.

      If FHotA are rumbling about, it may well be within the heads of those who have indulged the world and its devil a bit too frequently.

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