The new commandment calls us to make space within ourselves for the power of Jesus’ boundless love and to allow its wonderful sound to echo forth. It means understanding just how precious is the immense love that we have received without merit and ensuring that it circulates among others.
A successful approach
We have been married for less than fourteen years and never had any real crisis. Both of us have Christian backgrounds; nevertheless, we are aware that conjugal love can be very fragile. The greatest challenge is bringing up children and this can lead to disagreements. For example, when it comes to disciplining them, I would be more lenient than Pavel. Sometimes I defend them irrationally. In this situation, I am helped by thinking that my husband also wants what is best for them and I try to respect what he feels is his duty as a father (It is also true to say that I often realise that he is right). I pray when I don’t know what to do. We also try to implement the words recommended by Pope Francis: “Please, thank you, I am sorry”, and “may the sun not set on your anger”. From my own experience, I think it is important to respect the time the other person may take to deal with a difficult situation. At such times, I try to express my love with a kiss or a caress. Marriage truly teaches us to relate to the other person . We have seen how “successful” it is to praise our husband or wife – even for the smallest things. Pavel is a master of this approach.
(K.S. – Czech Republic)
Since the beginning of the pandemic, our community has made a point of keeping in touch with all the members of the group to make sure everyone was well, especially the people who were alone. When one of them who was normally very active fell and broke her right arm, my husband and I offered her hospitality for a while. She accepted. In the meantime, in view of the end-of-year festivities, new, more restrictive health regulations were being imposed, and since our guest would be isolated for Christmas and New Year, we suggested that she extend her stay with us. Impressed by the true family spirit of our community, she attributed it to the implementation of Jesus’ precept: “What you did for one of the least of these brothers, you did for me”. When she was physically more independent and returned to her home, she was aware that the Gospel could become a foundation for life and she immediately started to help those who might be in need.
(Constance – Canada)
When I was twelve, my parents’ marriage ended, but for another ten years we continued to live in the same flat: my mother and I lived in one room and my father in the other. The rest of the flat was shared by us all. The divorce drama made me insecure and fearful. Having sided with my mother, I had to give my father back the violin I was using for practice. When I grew up, I wanted to introduce him to my fiancé but he did not want to see him. He did not come to our wedding and did not even want to meet the two grandchildren when they were born. However, we did not give up and, in order to live our Christian faith consistently, we tried to forget old wounds and we continued to write to him and invite him to our home. Finally, one day he came to meet his son-in-law and grandchildren. Feeling loved, he gradually began to stay longer and longer and bring gifts to the children. When he heard that one of them was learning to play the violin, he brought “that” violin back.
(S. – Hungary)
Edited by Maria Grazia Berretta
(excerrpts from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VIII, no.2, May – June 2022)