Love isn’t defined by outward acts and by spoken words, but the virtue is assisted when people practice the outward signs of that interior reality. Pope Francis are cites some recent words:
133. The love of friendship unifies all aspects of marital life and helps family members to grow constantly. This love must be freely and generously expressed in words and acts. In the family, “three words need to be used. I want to repeat this! Three words: ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’. Three essential words!”.(Address to the Pilgrimage of Families during the Year of Faith (26 October 2013)) “In our families when we are not overbearing and ask: ‘May I?’; in our families when we are not selfish and can say: ‘Thank you!’; and in our families when someone realizes that he or she did something wrong and is able to say ‘Sorry!’, our family experiences peace and joy”.(Angelus Message (29 December 2013)) Let us not be stingy about using these words, but keep repeating them, day after day. For “certain silences are oppressive, even at times within families, between husbands and wives, between parents and children, among siblings”.(Address to the Pilgrimage of Families during the Year of Faith (26 October 2013)) The right words, spoken at the right time, daily protect and nurture love.
Those three words are decidedly counter-cultural, even within the confines of the Church. How much suffering, financial loss, and moral credibility would have been saved the past few decades if only certain people were able to say not just “Sorry!” but “I am sincerely sorry.”
Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.