CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 September 2018

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The support of the Joy of Love

Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia) is a great charter on modern marriage and family. The family is a place to experience love and this love should bring endless joy to each person. However, the realities we have seen are much different from this.

The best moments to experience familial love are the times of interaction between parents and children. However, in today’s society it is no longer easy to be a parent. Long working hours have deprived many of quality time with their children as each day they return home drained and exhausted.

In light of this, Pope Francis wrote about “a better education of children.” He called children’s education a “most serious duty” and a “primary right” of parents. 

He asked if parents really know where their children are. Although they may live under the same roof, do parents really know where their children’s hearts are, or what values they are they exposed to? 

There may be a vague awareness that their children are playing computer games, going online and using social media, however, the pope stressed that parents must nurture their relationship with their children to prevent “technological disconnection.”

From birth, to the pursuit of academic achievement, parents appear to have overlooked the most important parts of educating the next generation: teaching that freedom comes with responsibilities, teaching patience over instant gratification and showing them how to love, helping them grow in freedom, maturity and real independence. 

A moral education includes building trust, informing the will, encouraging the innate inclination to goodness, informed judgments, good habits and freedom strengthened by virtues. Whenever children see and feel the love of their parents, love and trust, they will not resist timely advice.

The pope also mentioned the need for sex education and the handing on of the faith. The latter being an indication that the family is living out its evangelising mission  Similarly, 

The Joy of Love underscores the great importance which Pope Francis has attached to the issues facing marriage and the family. 

At the end of last April, the diocese organised a seminar to introduce the apostolic exhortation. It presented, in particular, the work of the Diocesan Pastoral Commission for Marriage and the Family, which covers pastoral care for marriage and the family; pastoral care for persons with same-sex attraction and transsexual persons, as well as their families; counselling and support; Theology of the Body; pro-life; research and development; and communications. 

Overall, these areas seem to address the needs of marriage and the family at various levels. They also respond to the pastoral strategies and directions suggested by the pope by putting them into practice in the lives of the faithful. 

 

These resources are there for use to use wisely in striving to build many, many families filled with love and joy. SE