Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love

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.
 
Some takeaways:
 
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.
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We are the Easter People

“Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult, let Angel ministers of God exult, let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!” ~From the Exsultet, or Easter Proclamation

Dear friends, we have made it.

The 40 days lost in the desert are over.

On Palm Sunday we processed with Christ, palms in our hands, into Jerusalem.

On Spy Wednesday we saw Christ anointed by a woman from Bethany, reminding us that all we must do must be done in accordance to Him. We also saw Judas prepare his imminent betrayal.

On Holy Thursday, we saw Christ’s institution of the Mass. We saw bread and wine become fully body, blood, soul, and divinity of God the Son. We saw the institution of the priesthood, men called to be priests forever, in the line of Melchizedek. We were then mandated by Christ to do for others what he has done for us. Little did we know the depth of what that actually meant.

On Good Friday, we shouted “Crucify Him!” We were not ready for what Christ had in store for us. We crucified Him because we believed it was impossible to love in the same way He loved. We denied Him and abandoned Him because the world wallowed in its sin. We found it easier to deny and abandon Him. We found it easier to sin than to love.

On Holy Saturday, we waited. We wondered where we were going. We were lost.

And on the Easter Vigil, we witnessed the miracle we most definitely did not deserve. We saw Christ triumph over death and sin. We saw the tomb empty, stone rolled away.

Why did He do it? Why did he defeat death and show himself to us who denied Him, abandoned Him, crucified Him?

“O happy fault, that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”

Christ defeated death so that we may have hope to defeat death.

Christ took on sin because we could not hope to atone for our sins by ourselves.

Christ died so that we may live for others.

We did not deserve this, and yet we are here as witnesses to the King’s triumph.

It is time to roll away our own stones of sin so that we may join in the beatific vision of the many countless Saints who have lived for others and for God.

It is time to recommit ourselves to Christ’s mandate.

It is time to show ourselves and others that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and thus deserving of the divine love Christ showed us.

And when we do so, may we sing our praises together with the angels.

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Spy Wednesday, or Are we Judas?

Today is Spy Wednesday, traditionally the day when we believe that Judas made the bargain with the High Priest to betray Christ.

I am not going to get into why Judas chose to betray Christ. Today also happens to be the day Christ was anointed with an expensive jar of perfume by the woman in Bethany. The only person who questioned this was Judas, who asked why is Christ being anointed when the perfume could have been sold for silver for the poor.

As we approach the Triduum, these three Holy Days, let us ask ourselves “In what ways are we Judas?”

In what ways do we reason ourselves into betraying Christ and justifying our sin?

In what ways do we question Christ and God’s promises for us?

Let us meditate on that as we strive to perfect ourselves waiting for Christ’s return.

Easter is coming. Let us be ready.