Amoris Laetitia 211: Looking Long-Term, Not Just To A Wedding Day

amoris laetitia memeSumming up a general approach to marriage formation before we get to liturgy. First, a realization that a wedding day is not a graduation event (like Confirmation, Penance, or First Communion) but the beginning of a lifelong formation. If not transformation.

211. Both short-term and long-term marriage preparation should ensure that the couple do not view the wedding ceremony as the end of the road, but instead embark upon marriage as a lifelong calling based on a firm and realistic decision to face all trials and difficult moments together. The pastoral care of engaged and married couples should be centered on the marriage bond, assisting couples not only to deepen their love but also to overcome problems and difficulties. This involves not only helping them to accept the Church’s teaching and to have recourse to her valuable resources, but also offering practical programs, sound advice, proven strategies and psychological guidance.

Pope Francis seems to have no small opinion of psychology, and that’s a healthy approach we pastoral ministers can adopt as well.

All this calls for a pedagogy of love, attuned to the feelings and needs of young people and capable of helping them to grow interiorly. Marriage preparation should also provide couples with the names of places, people and services to which they can turn for help when problems arise. It is also important to remind them of the availability of the sacrament of Reconciliation, which allows them to bring their sins and past mistakes, and their relationship itself, before God, and to receive in turn his merciful forgiveness and healing strength.

I like this last point: Reconciliation not as a sacramental prerequisite, but as a reservoir of mercy, healing, and strength.

For your reference 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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