Pope Francis "You are an icon of God: the family is an icon of God." to Families - FULL TEXT


Goodmorning everyone,

I thought it would be a welcome speech ... But hearing Gianluigi I saw that there was fire there, there was mysticism. It's a great thing: for some time I did not hear about the family with so much passion. And it takes courage to do it today! It takes courage. And for this, thank you! I have prepared a speech, but after the heat with which he spoke, I find it cold. I deliver it, because he distributes it afterwards, and then I will publish it.

While he was talking, many things came to mind and heart, so many things about the family, things that are not said, do not say normally, or, if they say, they say well educated, like a school on the family. .. He spoke with his heart, and you all want to talk like that. I will take something that he has said, and I too would like to speak with my heart, and say in arm what came into my heart when he spoke.

He used an expression: "to look each other in the eyes". The man and the woman, the husband and the bride, look each other in the eye. I tell an anecdote. I like to say hello to the couples who make the fiftieth, the twenty-fifth ...; even when they come to Mass in Santa Marta. Once, there was a couple doing the sixtieth. But they were young, because they were married at eighteen, as in those days. In those days they married young people. Today, because you marry a son ..., poor mothers! But the recipe is clear: do not iron the shirts anymore, and so will you marry soon, or not? I find myself in front of this couple, and they looked at me ... I said: "Sixty years! But do you still have the same love? ". And they, looking at me, looked at each other, then came back to look at me, and I saw that their eyes were wet. And they both told me: "We are in love". I never forget it. "After sixty years we are in love". The warmth of the growing family, the love that is not a love of romance. It is a true love. Being in love all your life, with so many problems that are there ... But being in love.

Then, another thing I ask the spouses, who are fifty or sixty years old: "Which of you has had more patience?". It is mathematical, the answer is: "Tutt'e due". It's nice! This indicates a life together, a life of two. That patience to support each other.

And then, to the newlyweds who tell me: "We are married for a month, two months ...", the question I ask is: "Have you had a fight?" They usually say, "Yes". "Ah, all right, this is important. But it is also important not to end the day without making peace ". Please teach this: it is normal for you to argue, because we are free people, and there is some problem, and we need to make it clear. But do not finish the day without making peace. Because? Because the "cold war" of the next day is very dangerous.

With these three anecdotes I wanted to introduce what I would like to tell you.

Family life: it is a sacrifice, but a good sacrifice. Love is like making pasta: every day. Love in marriage is a challenge for men and women. What is the greatest challenge of man? Make more woman his wife. More woman. That grows as a woman. And what is the woman's challenge? Make your husband more man. And so they both go forward. They go forward.

Another thing that helps a lot of married life is patience: knowing how to wait. Wait. There are situations of crisis in life - strong crises, bad crises - where perhaps even times of infidelity come. When the problem can not be solved at that moment, it takes that patience of waiting, waiting. So many women - because this is more of the woman than of the man, but also the man sometimes does it - so many women in silence have waited, looking away, waiting for the husband to return to fidelity. And this is holiness. The holiness that forgives everything, because it loves. Patience. Much patience, one of the other. If one is nervous and cries, do not answer with another cry ... Be quiet, let the storm pass, and then, at the right moment, talk about it.

There are three words that are magic words, but important words in marriage. First of all, "leave": do not be intrusive with each other. "Can I?" That respect for each other. Second word: "Sorry". Apologizing is something that is so important, it's so important! Everyone is wrong in life, everyone. "Excuse me, I did this ...", "Sorry, I forgot ..." And this helps keep going. Help to carry on the family, the ability to apologize. It's true, apologizing always involves a bit 'of shame, but it is a holy shame! "Excuse me, I forgot ..." It's something that helps a lot to keep going. And the third word: "Thank you". To have the greatness of heart to always thank.

Then you spoke of Amoris laetitia, and you said: "Here Amoris laetitia is made flesh". I like to hear this: read, read the fourth chapter. The fourth chapter is the core of Amoris laetitia. It is precisely spirituality of every day of the family. Some have reduced Amoris laetitia to a sterile casuistry of "we can, we can not". They did not understand anything! Then, in Amoris laetitia, problems do not hide, problems of preparation for marriage. You help boyfriends to get ready: you have to say things clear, do not you? Clear. Once a woman told me, in Buenos Aires: "But you priests are smart ..." - "Why?" - "To become a priest, study eight years, you prepare for eight years. And then, if after a few years it does not work, make a nice letter to Rome; and in Rome they give you permission, and you can get married. Instead to us, who give us a Sacrament for life, we are satisfied with three or four preparatory conferences. This is not right". And that woman was right. Preparing for marriage: yes, it takes conferences, things that explain, but it takes men and women, friends, to talk to them and help them to mature, to mature on the journey. And we can say that today there is a need for a catechumenate for marriage, as there is a catechumenate for Baptism. Prepare, help prepare for marriage. Then, another problem we see in Amoris Laetitia is the education of children. It is not easy to educate children. Today the children are quicker than us! In the virtual world, they know more than us. But we must educate them to the community, educate them to family life. Educate them to sacrifice for one another. It is not easy to educate children. They are big problems. And you, who love the family, can help the other families in this way. The family is an adventure, a beautiful adventure! And today - with pain I say it - we see that many times we think of starting a family and making a marriage like a lottery: "Let's go. If it goes, it goes. If it does not work, we delete the thing and start again ". This superficiality on the greatest gift God gave to humanity: the family. Because, after the story of the creation of man, God shows that he created man and woman in his image and likeness. And Jesus himself, when he speaks of marriage, says: "Man will leave his father and mother and with his wife they will become one flesh". Because they are the image and likeness of God. You are an icon of God: the family is an icon of God. Man and woman: it is precisely the image of God. He has said it, I do not say so. And this is great, it is sacred. Then today - it hurts to say - we talk about "diversified" families: different types of families. Yes, it is true that the word "family" is an analogical word, because we speak of the "family" of the stars, the "families" of the trees, the "families" of the animals ... it is an analogical word. But the human family as an image of God, man and woman, is only one. It is only one. It may be that a man and a woman are not believers: but if they love and unite in marriage, they are the image and likeness of God, though they do not believe. It is a mystery: St. Paul calls it "great mystery", "great sacrament" (cf. Eph 5,32). A true mystery. I like everything you've said and the passion with which you said it. And so we must talk about the family, with passion. Once, I think a year ago, I called a relative of mine who was getting married. Forty. At the end I said: "Tell me a little: in which church do you marry?" - "We still do not know why we are looking for a church that matches the dress that will ... - and said the name of the girlfriend - and then we have the problem of the restaurant ... ". But think ... The important thing was that. When what is secondary takes the place of what is important. The important thing is to love each other, receive the Sacrament, go on ...; and then do all the parties you want, all of them. Once I met two married couple for ten years, without children. It is very delicate to talk about this, because many times children want but do not come, do not they? I did not know how to handle the topic. Then I learned that they did not want children. But these people at home had three dogs, two cats ... It's nice to have a dog, a cat, it's nice ... Or sometimes when you hear that they say, "Yes, yes, but we children do not because we have to buy a house in the country, then travel ... ". Children are the greatest gift. Children who welcome as they come, as God sends them, as God permits - even if sometimes they are sick. I heard that it is fashionable - or at least it is habitual - in the early months of pregnancy to make certain tests, to see if the child is not well, or comes with some problems ... The first proposal in that case is: "We send it away? ". The murder of children. And to have a peaceful life, an innocent person is taken out. When I was a boy, the teacher taught us history and told us what the Spartans were doing when a child was born with malformations: they took him to the mountain and threw him down, to treat "the purity of the race". And we remained stunned: "But how, how can this be done, poor children!" It was an atrocity. Today we do the same. You asked yourself why do not you see so many dwarves on the street? Because the protocol of many doctors - many, not all - is to ask the question: "Is it bad?". I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to treat the purity of the race. Today we do the same, but with white gloves. Family, love, patience, joy, and waste time in the family. You have talked about a bad thing: that there is no possibility of "wasting time", because in order to earn today you must have two jobs, because the family is not considered. You also talked about young people who can not get married because there is no work. The family is threatened by lack of work. And I would like to end with a council that once gave me a professor - he gave it to school - a professor of philosophy, the dean. I was in the seminary, at the stage of philosophy. There was the theme of human maturity, in philosophy we study that. And he said: "What is an everyday criterion to know if a man, if a priest is mature?". We answered things ... And he: "No, a simpler one: an adult person, a priest, is mature if he is able to play with children". This is the test. And I say to you: waste time with the children, waste time with your children, play with your children. Do not tell them: "Do not disturb!". I once heard a young family man say, "Father, when I go to work, they sleep. When I come back, they sleep ". It is the cross of this slavery of an unjust way of working that society brings us today. I said this was the last thing. No, the penultimate one. The last is what I say now, because I do not want to forget it. I talked about children as a promise treasure. But there is another treasure in the family: they are grandparents. Please take care of grandparents! Let grandparents talk, let the children talk to their grandparents. Caress grandparents, do not remove them from the family because they are annoying, because they repeat the same things. Love the grandparents, and let them talk to the children. Thank you all. Thank you for the passion, thank you for the love you have for the family. Thanks for everything! And forward with courage. Thank you! Now before giving you the blessing, let us pray to Our Lady: "Hail Mary ..."
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