Friday 15th April 2016: “On Love in the Family”

Amoris Laetitia, the much anticipated and eagerly awaited post-synodal apostolic exhortation, was finally promulaged on 19th March (appropriately the feast of St Joseph) and burst on to the global media stage at noon last Friday 8th April. You may recall, if you’ve been following this weekly blog, that back in the October of 2014 I said I was going to write a thought for the weekend from synod to synod, as it were, and take it from there. Given the increasing popularity and very encouraging feedback many of you kindly send back week after week, I decided to continue posting the ‘Friday Fast’ after the 2015 Synod to keep the momentum going on family catechesis and spirituality so as to anticipate and prepare for what the Holy Father would eventually say.  Amoris LaetitiaThe Joy of Love doesn’t disappoint in terms of the sheer quantity of the content to plough through (and believe me at 265 pages and 320 individual paragraphs, it takes some ploughing through as I recorded in another online piece here for the Catholic Truth Society)

I’ve not fully decided what to do yet in terms of utilising the message of the Exhortation to furnish the blog each week with material, but rest assured if you haven’t time to read it, I will bring some nuggets from time to time which you might find helpful. I would certainly heartily recommend reading the section on the passage of St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians on the hymn to love. The Pope has written some beautiful insights in there. Go to chapter 4 and read paragraphs 71-89 this weekend if you can, and even throughout Easter, as it’s not just food for thought, but reflections for prayerful meditation both alone, with your spouse or in a group.

For now though I just like to leave you with this passage, especially as we continue to journey through the Year of Mercy, from paragraphs 321-322:
“To want to form a family is to resolve to be a part of God’s dream, to choose to dream with him, to want to build with him, to join him in this saga of building a world where no one will feel alone”.  All family life is a “shepherding” in mercy. Each of us, by our love and care, leaves a mark on the life of others; with Paul, we can say: “You are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts… not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God” (2 Cor 3:2-3).”

This is comforting message. That each of our households – our families is deeply cherished by God our Father – we are, and always have been, part of His limitless imagination, and in the ordinary things of every day there is often the single most extraordinary channel of grace in our lives; forming, moulding, shaping, forging us to be holy – bit by bit…hopefully!

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