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Simple advice from Benedict XVI on how to be a better mom or dad

Franco Oliglia | Getty Images

The vocation to love is a wonderful thing ...

Pray often for the help of the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph, that they may teach you to receive God’s love as they did.”

This is an exhortation from a homily of Pope Benedict XVI at the 2012 World Meeting of Families. It’s worth reading a second time.

Pray for the grace, he says, to learn — not how to do great things or accomplish perfect plans — but how to receive God’s love.

Simple, but transformative.

He went on to say: “Your vocation is not easy to live, especially today, but the vocation to love is a wonderful thing—it is the only force that can truly transform the cosmos, the world.”

The pope also spelled out some “paths for growing in love”:

— maintaining a constant relationship with God and participating in the life of the Church,
— cultivating dialogue,
— respecting the other’s point of view,
— being ready for service and patient with the failings of others,
— being able to forgive and to seek forgiveness,
— overcoming with intelligence and humility any conflicts that may arise,
— agreeing on principles of upbringing,
— being open to other families, attentive towards the poor, and responsible within civil society.

“These are all elements that build up the family. Live them with courage, and be sure that, insofar as you live your love for each other and for all with the help of God’s grace, you become a living Gospel, a true domestic Church.”

Read the whole homily here.

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