A new topic begins today: Accompanying the first years of married life. Accompaniment is a favorite Pope Francis term, and it’s one of my top all-time, as you might guess coming from a pastoral musician. Let’s read:
217. It is important that marriage be seen as a matter of love, that only those who freely choose and love one another may marry. When love is merely physical attraction or a vague affection, spouses become particularly vulnerable once this affection wanes or physical attraction diminishes. Given the frequency with which this happens, it is all the more essential that couples be helped during the first years of their married life to enrich and deepen their conscious and free decision to have, hold and love one another for life. Often the engagement period is not long enough, the decision is precipitated for various reasons and, what is even more problematic, the couple themselves are insufficiently mature. As a result, the newly married couple need to complete a process that should have taken place during their engagement.
In sacramental circles, this is occasionally described as mystagogia, a period for reflecting on and deepening one’s experience of the sacramental mysteries. As long as we treat sacramental liturgies as graduation events from classroom learning, we will hobble our own efforts for continuing formation in the Christian life.
For your reference Amoris Laetitia is online here.