Francis has sent a message full of optimism and realism to families around the world during the Angelus held this Sunday. As today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family, the Pope has asked not to idealize the Jesus story, Mary and Joseph, because “it was not the Holy Family that appears on the pictures.” Naturally, like any family, “not everything is going well for them: they have unexpected problems, anguish, suffering. They lost Jesus and searched for him in an overwhelmed way until they found him three days later ”and when they asked him for an explanation, his son responded in a way that left them puzzled.
The key according to the Pope, is talk, “Talking in the family, at the table, between parents and children, between siblings, with grandparents.”
“It is dangerous when, instead of listening to ourselves, we blame ourselves,” the Pope warned. It is dangerous “when, instead of worrying about others, we look at what we need; when, instead of talking to others, we isolate ourselves with our mobiles -It is sad to see a family at the table and each one with their mobile phone in hand, without talking to the others-; when we accuse ourselves with the same phrases as always “, he has listed.
«Every day, in the family, we have to learn to listen and understand each other, to face conflicts and difficulties. This daily challenge is overcome if we adopt the right attitude, small details, simple gestures, taking care of our relationships », the Pope stressed. “I repeat a piece of advice,” said the Pope, departing from the text he had prepared. «Do not go to sleep without having made upOtherwise, the next day there will be a dangerous “cold war” that will give rise to a history of reproaches and resentments “.
«How many times conflicts arise and increase due to too long silences and neglected selfishness within the home! Sometimes there is even physical and moral violence ”, he lamented. The Pope has said that family is «our treasure“And that each and every one,” parents, children, Church, civil society “must commit to” support, defend and preserve it. “
He added that it is possible that “we were not born in a fexceptional amilia And without problems, but it is our history – each one must think: it is my history -, they are our roots: if we cut them, life dries up! ”, he lamented.
«God did not create us to be lonely leadersbut to walk together. God thinks of us and wants us together: grateful, united, capable of preserving our roots, “he added. For this reason, Francis also proposed to the spouses “the effort to pray a little together to ask God for the gift of peace in the family.”
“And speaking of the family, something that worries me a lot at least here in Italy comes to mind: the demographic winter,” Francisco explained. «It seems that many have lost the aspiration to have children, and many couples prefer to remain without children or with only one ”.
“Is a tragedy that goes against our families, our country and even our future, “he said. “Let’s do all we can to overcome this demographic winter,” he asked.
The Angelus was the prologue to a short letter that the Pope sent today to all couples of the world and which is part of the special year “Familia Amoris laetitia”, which began on March 19 and closes on June 26, with a World Meeting of Families that will take place in Rome.
In the short text, Francisco reminds the spouses that “the passing of days, the arrival of children, work, illnesses are circumstances in which the commitment they made to each other makes each one have to abandon their own inertias, certainties and comfort zones ”. «God accompanies you on this journey, he loves you unconditionally, You are not alone!“, writes.
He talks about the children and how «educate it means being present in many ways, so that children can count on their parents at all times, ”he says. It is about transmitting “a security to help them experience the trust in you, in the beauty of your lives, in the certainty of never being alone, no matter what happens ».
Marriages and confinement
Among the specific difficulties mentioned by the Pope, he recalls that the pandemic and its quarantines supposed “a special exercise of patience, since it is not easy to be together all day when in the same house you have to work, study, recreate and rest. That fatigue does not win over them, that the force of love encourages them to look more at the other – at the spouse, at the children – than at their own fatigue », he proposes.
The Pope emphasizes that “for some couples the coexistence They have been forced into during the quarantine has been especially difficult. The problems that already existed got worse, generating conflicts that many times have become almost unbearable. Many have even experienced the breakdown of a marriage that had been enduring a crisis that was not known or could not be overcome. “I also want to express my closeness and affection to these people,” he writes.
«The breakdown of a conjugal relationship generates a lot of suffering due to the disappointment of so many illusions; the lack of understanding it provokes arguments and wounds that are not easy to repair. Nor is it possible to spare children the suffering of seeing that their parents are no longer together. Even so, do not stop looking for help so that the conflicts can be overcome in some way and do not cause even more pain between you and your children, “he asks.
«Remember that the forgiveness heals all wounds. Forgiving each other is the result of an interior decision that matures in prayer, in relationship with God, as a gift that springs from the grace with which Christ fills the couple when they let him act, “he assures.
Francisco also greets “the grandparents and the grandmothers that during the time of isolation they were deprived of seeing and being with their grandchildren, and of the elderly who suffered even more radically from loneliness ”. He tells them that “the family cannot do without them, since they are the living memory of humanity.