Amoris Laetitia 275: Hope

amoris laetitia memeIf the culture has somewhat corrupted the value of love, and sometimes mocks faith, how does it handle hope? Pope Francis suggests the family is the place to learn about this important value. Does he have hope for this?

How to integrate electronics, or to keep them in a rightful place?

275. In our own day, dominated by stress and rapid technological advances, one of the most important tasks of families is to provide an education in hope. This does not mean preventing children from playing with electronic devices, but rather finding ways to help them develop their critical abilities and not to think that digital speed can apply to everything in life.

On delayed gratification:

Postponing desires does not mean denying them but simply deferring their fulfilment. When children or adolescents are not helped to realize that some things have to be waited for, they can become obsessed with satisfying their immediate needs and develop the vice of “wanting it all now”. This is a grand illusion which does not favor freedom but weakens it. On the other hand, when we are taught to postpone some things until the right moment, we learn self-mastery and detachment from our impulses.

Detachment from impulses, good and bad: another Ignatian value. People who misunderstand Pope Francis would do well to consider the Spiritual Exercises. I find them all over this document, even in discussion on so-called secular areas.

When children realize that they have to be responsible for themselves, their self-esteem is enriched. This in turn teaches them to respect the freedom of others. Obviously this does not mean expecting children to act like adults, but neither does it mean underestimating their ability to grow in responsible freedom. In a healthy family, this learning process usually takes place through the demands made by life in common.

Let’s see if I get this straight … Let kids be kids, but don’t coddle them, don’t advance them further than they need to be, respect them and keep expectations reasonably high. Anything I’ve missed?

Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

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About catholicsensibility

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