Amoris Laetitia 104: Making Peace

amoris laetitia memeFour Scripture passages help Pope Francis launch into some advice:

104. The Gospel tells us to look to the log in our own eye (cf. Mt 7:5). Christians cannot ignore the persistent admonition of God’s word not to nurture anger: “Do not be overcome by evil” (Rm 12:21). “Let us not grow weary in doing good” (Gal 6:9). It is one thing to sense a sudden surge of hostility and another to give into it, letting it take root in our hearts: “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph 4:26). My advice is never to let the day end without making peace in the family. “And how am I going to make peace? By getting down on my knees? No! Just by a small gesture, a little something, and harmony within your family will be restored. Just a little caress, no words are necessary. But do not let the day end without making peace in your family”.(Catechesis (13 May 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 14 May 2015, p. 8)

Making peace doesn’t mean humiliation. Loved ones notice those small things. We turn to how to deal with the offenses dealt to us:

Our first reaction when we are annoyed should be one of heartfelt blessing, asking God to bless, free and heal that person. “On the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Pet 3:9). If we must fight evil, so be it; but we must always say “no” to violence in the home.

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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6 Responses to Amoris Laetitia 104: Making Peace

  1. Atheist Max says:

    “My advice is never to let the day end without making peace in the family. “And how am I going to make peace? By getting down on my knees? No! Just by a small gesture, a little something,
    and harmony within your family will be restored.”

    I’m sorry – this needs to be called out.
    What if your brother or father is a manic dangerous drunk who harms your children, who sends nasty letters to you which needlessly injure and harass? Is this method going to “restore the family”?

    No. Enablers are not doing anyone a favor. Such advice is destructive to everyone and puts the burden on the individual who is least able to deal with it – the victim.
    Blood or DNA concordance is no excuse for a relationship. Nobody is obligated to spend time with someone who is not healthy to be around.

    ‘Harmony’ seems a silly objective in any case. Optimal health and well-being to all members seems a nobler and wiser objective.

    • Todd says:

      Thanks for commenting Max. I’d like to make note of a few things.

      1. Pope Francis is hardly a literalist. I would be pretty sure he is talking about ordinary family life, places like your house and my house. As long as there’s a healthy mutual relationship between spouses, I don’t think this advice needs to be “called out.”

      2. In the situation of your examples, the abused party should take the other victims and leave. I suspect Pope Francis would not condemn such an action. And likely support it. And if he didn’t, them I would be in disagreement with him.

      3. Emotional harmony is part of good health. I’d be surprised if people in harmonious relationships weren’t healthier. I believe the statistics show that good marriages lengthen lives.

      4. I think your objections are important reminders. But I will offer a caution here. If you take the subject into anti-religionism or something off-topic, I will start an open thread with it and delete it here.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Let me be clear – I think the Pope means well. But his thinking is sloppy and his recommendations are unhealthy. When the Pope says, “Harmony will be restored” he exhibits a quaint ignorance of what makes healthy relationships.

        I have been married for 33 years. My wife and I are very happy. Happiness is the correct objective – not emotional harmony. Teamwork, growth and mutual respect require constant re-calibration and healthy conflict.

        But Harmony is often a sign of a very unhealthy marriage. I have seen countless women who are denied full financial and emotional equality with their husbands – but they are very harmonious about it because they frankly feel they have no other choice. Terrible dependency can be very harmonious indeed.

        “….but we must always say “no” to violence in the home.”
        Nobody needs a book to tell us this. But the Pope pretends divorce is not the proper cure for a violent marriage. Yet it is the only cure. Any violence whatsoever should be the end of the marriage. Violence is not a chance for ‘harmony’ and the victim must not feel shamed for getting out of there as fast as he/she can.

        The problem is this:
        The Pope is so confident the gospel has the solutions he ignores reality and evidence of the things which actually work. Very often the best solution is divorce. Other times, contraception is the solution. And it is no big deal.

        When married people are seeking harmony they are already in very deep trouble.

      • Todd says:

        Thanks for commenting, Max. I think you have a completely different understanding of harmony than the pope or I do. But if you want to focus on other virtues and they work for you, I’ll drink to that.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Cheers, Todd.
        All my best.

  2. Atheist Max says:

    Peace is a good idea when it conforms to well-being. To attain it we must sometimes let people go rather than to pretend a relationship is necessary.

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