Just finished Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s Post-Synodal Exhortation to the Family. I’ll have to reread it to get more detail, but now I’ll take the time to read the commentary.
We start out with an introduction to love, and the first chapter is dedicated to how marriage mirrors God’s love for us.
Chapter 2 then points out the challenges of the family today.
Chapters 3-5 (Looking to Jesus: The Vocation of the Family, Love in Marriage, Love Made Fruitful) is where the passion can be felt. It is an eloquent defense of love and family. Chapters 3-5 might as well be a pre-Cana course. Chapter 4 spends 50 pages elaborating on St. Paul’s famous verses on love. In the end, this was 104 pages on love and family.
Combining Chapters 3-5 with Chapter 7 (Towards a Better Education of Children) and Chapter 9 (The Spirituality of Marriage and the Family), we get 137 pages elaborating on what we are called to do as members of a family.
Chapter 6 (Some Pastoral Perspectives) is where we see how to accompany those preparing for marriage and those experiencing the difficulties of the marriage.
This chapter, along with Chapter 8 (Accompanying, Discerning, and Integrating Weakness) shows the challenges pastors have today in leading their flocks to Christ.
In the end however, what matters most of love, especially considering that pastoral considerations only took up 64 pages.
These challenges however, cannot be fixed by clergy alone. This requires a concerted effort by everyone involved. We should learn to love more fully. Those of us called to marriage should develop that love for their spouses and for their children, and priests and those called to the priesthood should learn how to accompany those who need to know that God is with them and is always there for them.
This is difficult, but we need to act upon it.
And I suppose it is now time to reread Humanae Vitae.