In Pennsylvania's

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Marriage is the most beautiful thing that God has created" (Pope Francis, 10/1/16)

"Marriage is the most beautiful thing that God has created.  The Bible tells us that God created man and woman, created them in His own image (cfr Gen 1:27).  That is to say, the man and woman who become one flesh, are the image of God.  I understood...the difficulties that arise so often in marriage: the misunderstandings, the temptations.  'Well, let's solve this through divorce, so I can find another man, and he can find another woman, and we can start again' you know who pays the divorce fees?  Two people pay.  Who pays?....Both?  More!  God pays, because when 'one flesh' is divided, the image of God is soiled.  And the children pay.  You do not know, dear brothers and sisters, you do not know how much children suffer, the little ones, when they witness the arguments and the separation of parents!  Everything should be done to save a marriage.  But is it normal to have arguments in marriage?  Yes, it is normal.  It happens.  Sometimes 'plates fly'.  But if love is real, then peace is made quickly.  I offer this advice to spouses: argue as much as you want, but don't let the day end without making peace.  Do you know why?  Because 'the cold war' of the day after is extremely dangerous.  How many marriages are saved when they have the courage at the end of the day to not make speeches but rather offer a caress, and peace is made!  It is true, there are more complex situations, when the devil gets involved and entices the man with another woman who seems more beautiful than his wife, or when the devil entices the woman with another man who seems better than her husband.  Ask for help straightaway. When this temptation comes, ask for help immediately.

"And this is what you...were saying, about helping couples.  And how do we help couples?  We help them by offering welcome, closeness, accompaniment, discernment, and integration into the body of the Church.  To welcome, to accompany, to discern, to integrate. In the Catholic community we should offer help to save marriages.  There are three words: they are words of gold in married life.  I would ask a couple: 'do you love each other?'  'Yes', they might say.  'And when one of you does something for the other, do you know how to say thank you?  And if one of you does something truly devilish, do you know how to ask for forgiveness?  And if you want to plan something, [for example] having a day in the countryside, or something else, do you know how to ask the other's opinion?'  Three words: 'What do you think, can I?'; 'Thank you'; 'Sorry'.  If couples use these words, 'sorry, I made a mistake', 'can I do this?', or 'thank you for this lovely meal you've made' – 'can I?', 'thank you', 'sorry' – if couples use these words, a marriage will progress nicely.  It is a help.

"You...mentioned a great enemy to marriage today: the theory of gender. Today there is a world war to destroy marriage. Today there are ideological colonisations which destroy, not with weapons, but with ideas.  Therefore, there is a need to defend ourselves from ideological colonisations.  If there are problems, make peace as soon as possible, before the day ends, and don't forget the three words: 'can I', 'thank you', 'forgive me'.

"And you...spoke about a Church that is open, not closed in on itself, a Church which should be open to all, a Church as mother – mothers are like this.  There are two women that Jesus wanted for all of us: his mother and his spouse.  And these two resemble each other.  The mother is the mother of Jesus, and he left her as our mother.  The Church is the spouse of Jesus and she too is our mother.  With mother Church and mother Mary we can move forward confidently.  And there we find again the woman.  It seems that the Lord has a preference to advance the faith of women.  Mary, the Holy Mother of God; the Church, the Holy Spouse of God – even if sinful in us her children – and the grandmother and mother who have given us the faith.

"And it will be Mary, the Church, the grandmother, the mother, to defend the faith.  Your ancient monks used to say – and listen well: 'When there is spiritual turmoil, we need to take refuge under the mantle of the Holy Mother of God'.  And Mary is the model of the Church, she is the model of womanhood, yes, because the Church is a woman and Mary is a woman" (Pope Francis, Apostolic Journey to Georgia and Azerbaijan: Meeting with Priests, Religious, Seminarians and Pastoral Workers gathered in the church of the Assumption, 10/1/16).

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