Amoris Laetitia 319: Spirituality of Married Love

amoris laetitia memeToday, a discussion starter on the topic of a spirituality of exclusive and free love. Pope John Paul II assists us:

319. Marriage is also the experience of belonging completely to another person. Spouses accept the challenge and aspiration of supporting one another, growing old together, and in this way reflecting God’s own faithfulness. This firm decision, which shapes a style of life, is an “interior requirement of the covenant of conjugal love”,(Familiaris Consortio 11) since “a person who cannot choose to love for ever can hardly love for even a single day. (John Paul II, Homily at Mass with Families, Cordoba, Argentina (8 April 1987), 4: Insegnamenti X/1 (1987), 1161-1162)

Pope Francis adds that marriage is not about appearances. The Lord sees our deepest heart. If we are withholding qualities such as devotion, joy, self-sacrifice, we are seen and outed to the Lord’s eyes.

At the same time, such fidelity would be spiritually meaningless were it simply a matter of following a law with obedient resignation. Rather, it is a matter of the heart, into which God alone sees (cf. Mt 5:28). Every morning, on rising, we reaffirm before God our decision to be faithful, come what may in the course of the day. And all of us, before going to sleep, hope to wake up and continue this adventure, trusting in the Lord’s help. In this way, each spouse is for the other a sign and instrument of the closeness of the Lord, who never abandons us: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20).

In addition to marking Sunday as a day of renewal for marriages (Cf. Amoris Laetitia 318) the Holy Father counsels the two hinges of the day as appropriate times to take spiritual stock and seek interior faithfulness. Lauds and Vespers oriented to the domestic Church, it would seem. Any comments?

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About catholicsensibility

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