Pope Francis made some powerful observations about the importance of working to create strong marriages.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters: We know well that every family on occasion suffers moments when one family member offends another. Through our words, actions, or omissions, instead of expressing love for our spouse or children, we can sometimes diminish or demean that love. Hiding these hurts only deepens such wounds, leading to anger and friction between loved ones. If these wounds are particularly deep, they can even lead a spouse to search for understanding elsewhere, to the detriment of the family, especially children. Being one flesh, any wounds that spouses suffer are shared by their children, born of their flesh. When we remember how Jesus warned adults not to scandalize little ones (cf. Mt 18:6), we better understand the vital responsibility to maintain and protect the bond of marriage which is the foundation of the human family. We thank God that although these wounds may lead some to separation, even then many men and women remain true to their conjugal bond, sustained by faith and by love for their children. For those who enter into so-called irregular situations, we must reflect on how best to help and accompany them in their lives. Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart.”
Good Marriage: The Heart of the New Evangelization
What a wonderful reminder Pope Francis gives us of the importance of working on our marriage and family lives. Christians often feel selfish about working on their marriage. It feels self-serving or too insular. But the truth is marriage is an extremely part of God’s plan for saving the world! Marriage and family life gives the world a witness of God’s love in the flesh. For the modern person, words are a poor means of evangelization. People have heard it all. “I love you”, “I’ll always be here”, “You can count on me” are promises that are too easy to make and easier, still, to break in the modern world. One of the reasons Pope St. John Paul the Great emphasized marriage and family life in both his Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization is that solid, passionate, loving, joyful marriages and families are the best way to show the world that Catholicism has something true, good and beautiful to offer the world. When we work on our marriages and strengthen our families, far from being self-indulgent or inward-looking, we are giving God the tools by which he can show the world an icon of his transformative love.
In additional to our Catholic Tele-Counseling Practice for couples, families and individuals, here are some of the resources The Pastoral Solutions Institute offers to help couples live out the kind of joyful, passionate, grace-filled marriages that God wants for each of his children.
For Better…FOREVER! The Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage— Examines marriage from Honeymoon to Happily Ever After and offers couples of every age skills they can use to live For Better…FOREVER!
The Exceptional Seven Percent: Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples— Discover the nine traits that distinguish the happiest couples of all, the 7% of first-and-forever marriages that report uncommon satisfaction and stability.
Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First 5 Years of Marriage–God wants your marriage to be the Greatest Love Story Ever Told! Discover how to build the kind of foundation for your marriage that will continue to nourish your relationship for years to come!
When Divorce is NOT and Option: How to Heal Your Marriage and Nurture Lasting Love— Research reveals 8 habits that separates marriage masters from marriage disasters. Discover how to transform your relationship–even if you’re the only one working on it!
Holy Sex! The Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving— Explore the secrets of celebrating a more passionate, sensual, soulful marital sexuality. Discover practical steps for resolving differences and experience even more joyful, marital intimacy!