Just during the days that the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia came out we were in Slovakia to begin a course of support, with some families there, for couples in serious, even very serious, difficulty. It seemed to us an important coincidence; we immediately read some of it and were first of all impressed by the depth of the statement regarding the beauty of matrimonial love. In all of its articulations: from the most daily ones – patience, kindness, trust, forgiveness – indispensable for a harmonious life up to speaking in depth about the erotic dimension of love in the couple without omitting aspects of troubles and violence which, unfortunately, there are.
Just as clear and thorough is the analysis of family crises : “Family history is wounded by all types of crises, that are also a part of its dramatic beauty”. CRISES ARE A PART OF NORMAL LIFE and as such must be faced up to, without fear and hiding, even if at times they derive from previous personal situations that the couple is not aware of. But almost always they seem bigger than they really are and, if faced up to, can lead to a wealth of relationships. Certainly they involve a burden of pain that cannot be ignored and calls for an adequate accompaniment “comprehensive, close, realistic, incarnated”. Exactly for this the need for a PERSONAL ACCOMPANIMENT FOR YOUNG COUPLES by older couples, as naturally also the formation of engaged couples, not only those close to marriage, but also remote, is strongly underlined! Certainly preventing is better than curing.
In chapter eight the Pope directly confronts situations of fragility. It is consoling to see how well Pope Francis knows and makes his own the objective difficulties that lead to putting off marriage, to beginning living situations that, however, do not always mean denial of the reality of marriage. From the beginning he underlines that many situations are due to people’s fragility and that the ATTITUDE OF OPENNESS TOWARDS WHO SUFFERS MUST BE REINFORCED DURING THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY. It is a continuous, great opening to accompany, integrate, understand situations that are not and cannot be judged all equal. “Nobody can be condemned forever”is a strong statement as is “it is the Church’s duty to reveal the divine pedagogy of grace….” to those who are living in “irregular” situations. Everyone, to a certain degree, can participate in the life of the community, no one must feel excommunicated and it can never be said that “all those who live in an “ irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin”. A great opening, a great responsibility give to pastors, but also to laymen to be this open door which mercy passes through in this special year.
A true and real guide to bring back into light the beauty and the importance of this root from which society and the Church can flourish again and bear new fruit.