At a first reading of Pope Francis’ post synod apostolic exhortation AMORIS LAETITIA the words of Saint John Paul II resound in the background: “family: become what you are!” Yes, Pope Francis shows us, families, who we are, he explains to us even what we ourselves don’t completely know. And he does so with such clearness, respect, I’d say almost contemplation that he leaves us even somewhat stunned.
A whole beautiful chapter to explain love to us. Love that we all look for, that makes us happy, that we trusted in deciding to be first a couple and then a family. Love that becomes concrete in daily life, in a thousand nuances, delicate and tender, strong and resolute, patient and untiring. The photo of the life of married couples is so fascinating that, even if the enthusiasm of the first years of marriage has been lost or weakened, we can’t not fall in love again with our vocation (this is the definition of Christian marriage) and with whom, naturally, we have at our side in this vocation.
“Love that doesn’t grow begins to run risks, and we can only grow through corresponding to divine grace by making more acts of love, with more frequent, more intense, more generous, more tender and more cheerful acts of affection.”
There’s this photo, rich with light and highlights of many colors and there’s the way in which to live this vision. The Pope seems to know perfectly well how far away we are from an ideal of family that finds its model in none other than the Trinity and in its internal relationship. He knows very well how fragile we are and that we always have to go back to beginning again, from the little things, from the little or big wounds inside of us, from proposals that we can’t keep. A very strong, instinctive impression upon a first reading is the feeling of seeing the paternal and maternal love of the Church in the words of the Pope, with their different characteristics: the father shows what the ideal should be like, without any allowances, teaches the rules, puts limits, is always beside in order to encourage; the mother knows how to wait, always believes that her child will be able to pick himself up, consoles him, in her heart he is always the most handsome of all, even if he is full of bruises and mistakes.
This is the Church with the great heart that talks to families, to all of us married couples. It makes us want to reveal this beauty to many others, to aim at incarnating this fascinating vision of family life, without excuses and without justifications, because we are not called to less.