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Families

Pope Francis Speaks to Families

 


During the Synod of Bishops, I would like to reflect on some aspects of the profound relationship between the Church and the family, with a view to the common good of society. When families journey along the way of the Lord, they offer a fundamental witness to God’s love, and they deserve the full commitment and support of the Church. In the family we learn of the bonds which unite us, of fidelity, sincerity, trust, cooperation and respect, even when difficulties abound. Indeed it is in family life that the most vulnerable of society are cared for. And yet, political and economic life today does not always support the family, and seems to have lost the ability to incorporate the virtues of family life into the common life of society. Here the Church is called to exercise her mission by first examining to what extent she is living as the family of God. Like Saint Peter, the Church is called to be a fisher of men, and so too needs a new type of net. Families are this net. They free us from the sea of loneliness and indifference, so that we can all experience the freedom of being children of God. May the Church go out into the deep, confident that the catch will be great. And may the Synod Fathers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, encourage the Church to cast out her net with confidence and faith in the Word of God.Holy Father: (General Audience. Vatican City, Wednesday, October 7)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Christian community is the home of those who believe in Jesus as the font of brotherhood among all human beings. The Church journeys among her people, in the history of men and women, of fathers and mothers, of sons and daughters: this is the history that matters to the Lord. The great events of worldly powers are written in history books, and there they will remain. But the history of human feelings is written directly in the heart of God; and that is the history that will endure for eternity. This is where life and faith are located. The family is the place of our irreplaceable and indelible initiation into this history... into this history of life in its fullness, which will culminate in heaven with the contemplation of God for all eternity, but which begins in the family! And that is why the family is so important. (General Audience. Paul VI  Audience Hall - Wednesday, September 9) 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we consider one of the conditions common to all families, namely, illness. Many times in the Gospels Jesus meets the sick and heals them. His desire to cure suffering is a central part of his ministry, coming even before observance of the law. He sends his disciples to do the same, giving them the power to heal, and to draw close to the sick, touching their deepest wounds and bringing them peace. The illness of one person can be a severe trial for all family members. As followers of Christ, we are called to pray without ceasing for the sick and dying, and to support families where this is being experienced. So too we must educate children to solidarity with the sick so that they are not anesthetized to the sufferings of others, but rather are capable of helping the ill and of living fully each human experience. May we always give thanks to the Lord for the support of the Church shown to families in times of illness, especially between families themselves. (General Audience. Paul VI Audience Hall - Wednesday, June 10)


Dear Brothers and Sisters:     Today we consider one of the conditions which afflict too many families, namely, poverty.  And yet, in the worst of circumstances, even in war torn areas, how often these families persevere with dignity, entrusting themselves to the goodness of God.  It is a miracle that even in extreme situations families continue to be formed and sustained.  Sadly, our modern economies often promote individual wellbeing at the expense of the family.  As Christians, however, we must always look for ways to strengthen and support families, especially poorer ones.  The Church, as a mother, can never be blind to the sufferings of her children.  For each of us, this means choosing simplicity both individually and in our institutions, so as to break down walls of division and overcome all difficulties, especially poverty.  A poorer Church will bear fruit for so many of her needy children.  Let us pray for the grace of conversion so that Christian families everywhere will be truly committed to helping their poorer brothers and sisters. (General Audience. Paul VI Audience Hall - Wednesday, June 3)


Dear parents, have great patience, and forgive from the depths of your heart. (tweet 5/15/2015 - https://twitter.com/pontifex

"Today I would like to continue our catechesis on the family by reflecting on three phrases: “May I?”, “Thank you”, and “Pardon me”. These simple phrases are not so easy to say or to put into practice. But when they are ignored, their absence can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse. If these words are part of our daily lives, not just as a formal expression of good manners, but as a sign of deep love for one another, they strengthen a happy family life. “May I?” – even if we think we have the right to something, when we speak to our spouse or family member with kindness we create space for a true spirit of marital and familial common life. We renew trust and respect, revealing our love for others, and we allow them to open the door of their hearts to us. “Thank you” – our society has great need for gratitude, which makes us more sensitive to the dignity of the human person and the demands of social justice. Thankfulness is also the language of God, to whom above all we must express our gratitude. “Pardon me” – Without these words, hurt can develop in our relationships, and weaken our life as a family. But when we ask forgiveness, we show our desire to restore what was lost – respect, honesty, love – and healing between family members is made possible. “May I?”, “Thank you”, “Pardon me” – Let us ask the Lord to keep these three phrases in our hearts, our homes and our communities." (General Audience. Paul VI Audience Hall - Wednesday, May 13, 2015)


"Dear Brothers and Sisters: In preparation for next October’s meeting of the Synod of Bishops on the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the world, our weekly catecheses will be devoted to the theme of the family. This Advent season of prayerful expectation for the Lord’s coming invites us to consider how God’s original gift of the family was taken up and confirmed in the mystery of the Incarnation. The Son of God chose to be born into a human family, in an obscure town on the periphery of the Roman Empire. Although the Gospels tell us little about the first thirty years of his life, we can imagine that Jesus led a very “normal” family life. He was raised in an atmosphere of religious devotion, he learned from the words and example of Mary and Joseph, and he grew in wisdom, age and grace (cf. Lk2:52). In imitation of the Holy Family, every Christian family must make a place for Jesus in its home. For it is through the love of such “normal” families that God’s Son quietly comes to dwell among us, bringing salvation to our world". (GENERAL AUDIENCE t. Paul VI Audience Hall - Wednesday, 17 December 2014)
 
"The Christian family is missionary: it announces the love of God to the world". (tweet 12/12/2014 https://twitter.com/pontifex)

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the family, and inspired by the Christmas image of Our Lady who presents her Son to the world, we now reflect on the role of mothers in society and in the Church. For all our symbolic glorification of mothers, their important contribution to the life of society, their daily sacrifices and their aspirations are not always properly appreciated. Mothers are an antidote to the spread of a certain self-centeredness, a decline in openness, generosity and concern for others. In this sense, motherhood is more than childbearing; it is a life choice, entailing sacrifice, respect for life, and commitment to passing on those human and religious values which are essential for a healthy society. Archbishop Oscar Romero spoke in this regard of a “martyrdom of mothers”, whose sensitivity to all that threatens human life and welfare is a source of enrichment for society and the Church. Today I ask you to join me in thanking mothers everywhere for what they are, and for all that they give to the Church and to our world. (General Audience January 7, 2016) www.vatican.va