Amoris Laetitia 12: That Personal Encounter

amoris laetitia memeYou can find the full document Amoris Laetitia on the Vatican site. Remember, this is just your second-place stop for discussion once you’ve read and reflected there.

In paragraph 12, the second Creation story finds Adam lacking companionship in animals and other created things. Pope Francis shares an idea not new to him, that of a personal encounter with another. Would that in helping and being helped, we would seek that more intently.

12. In speaking of marriage, Jesus refers us to yet another page of Genesis, which, in its second chapter, paints a splendid and detailed portrait of the couple. First, we see the man, who anxiously seeks “a helper fit for him” (vv. 18, 20), capable of alleviating the solitude which he feels amid the animals and the world around him. The original Hebrew suggests a direct encounter, face to face, eye to eye, in a kind of silent dialogue, for where love is concerned, silence is always more eloquent than words. It is an encounter with a face, a “thou”, who reflects God’s own love and is man’s “best possession, a helper fit for him and a pillar of support”, in the words of the biblical sage (Sir 36:24). Or again, as the woman of the Song of Solomon will sing in a magnificent profession of love and mutual self-bestowal: “My beloved is mine and I am his… I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (2:16; 6:3).

A priest friend of mine once shared one thing he hopes to see in couples preparing for marriage. Many young people look for that helper to bring a “completion” in their life. How often do lovers seek to help the other, to make the beloved’s life extraordinary? Not just one’s own.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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