Amoris Laetitia 181: Families In The World, Not Escaping From It

amoris laetitia memeWith much Catholic discussion about the so-called Benedict option, Pope Francis seems to suggest thw world needs the witness of families, even large families:

181. We also do well to remember that procreation and adoption are not the only ways of experiencing the fruitfulness of love. Even large families are called to make their mark on society, finding other expressions of fruitfulness that in some way prolong the love that sustains them. Christian families should never forget that “faith
does not remove us from the world, but draws us more deeply into it… Each of us, in fact, has a special role in preparing for the coming of God’s kingdom in our world”.(Address at the Meeting with Families in Manila (16 January 2015)) Families should not see themselves as a refuge from society, but instead go forth from their homes in a spirit of solidarity with others. In this way, they become a hub for integrating persons into society and a point of contact between the public and private spheres. Married couples should have a clear awareness of their social obligations. With this, their affection does not diminish but is flooded with new light.

This sounds like a mutuality for sacramental marriage. There’s ideally a relationship not just between the partners but also of the partners with the world. That’s very Matthew 28:19-20. The couple and children stand as a locus for integrating others, rather than running away from them. Additionally, service for the common good serves in turn to enrich the marriage. Do you readers find this to be so?

From the Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti:

As the poet says: “Your hands are my caress, The harmony that fills my days. I love you because your hands Work for justice.
If I love you, it is because you are My love, my companion and my all, And on the street, side by side, We are much more than just two”. (
Mario Benedetti, “Te Quiero”, in Poemas de otros, Buenos Aires 1993, 316)

The Spanish original is cited in the Holy Father’s footnote:

Tus manos son mi caricia
mis acordes cotidianos
te quiero porque tus manos
trabajan por la justicia.

Si te quiero es porque sos
mi amor mi cómplice y todo
y en la calle codo a codo
somos mucho más que dos.

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

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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