36. We also need to be humble and realistic, acknowledging that at times the way we present our Christian beliefs and treat other people has helped contribute to today’s problematic situation. We need a healthy dose of self-criticism.
I was in a Facebook discussion earlier this week about this one:
Then too, we often present marriage in such a way that its unitive meaning, its call to grow in love and its ideal of mutual assistance are overshadowed by an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation.
One of my young friends went on about procreation. But the Holy Father’s instinct is correct here. Not all couples are able to procreate biologically, but I do think that all sacramental couples have a responsibility to be generative. Generativity is a more broad virtue and suggests that couples have a role for expanding the reach of the Gospel not just in their homes, but in their communities.
Nor have we always provided solid guidance to young married couples, understanding their timetables, their way of thinking and their concrete concerns. At times we have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite.
This is accurate. It is necessary to take things in steps. Especially with people who are far away. Such persons may yet reject God’s grace, but it will not be for a lack of hospitality and accompaniment.
You can check Amoris Laetitia online in pdf format here. Read ahead or back, as you wish.