This month, we will pray that families, with a life of prayer and love, can be schools of true human development
Pope Francis’ prayer intention for August is families, that they might be “schools of true human development.”
In The Pope Video that presents his intention for the month of August, Francis asks us to orient our prayer intentions towards all that favors families becoming true places of human growth. For the Holy Father, families are “the best possible legacy” that we can leave the world and the future.
“What kind of world do we want to leave for the future?” he asks. “Let us leave a world with families.”
The pope emphasizes that families have to be places of prayer and he says that we have to reserve a special place in families for “individual and community prayer.”
The pope’s prayer intention focuses on praying for families and taking care of them, as they are “true schools for the future.”
His message is a call for families to put all their efforts into dialogue, sharing experiences with each other, and learning to accept and forgive each other, since families are the “first place where human beings learn to love.”
At the same time, his words warn against the danger presented by “extreme individualism which weakens family bonds and ends up considering each member of the family as an isolated unit,” which creates the risk of “intolerance and hostility in families.”
Jesuit Fr. Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (which includes the Eucharistic Youth Movement) emphasizes that “it is in the context of our families, with their joys and wounds, with their victories and disappointments, where we first learn to love and to allow ourselves to be loved. They are where we discover love and service, sharing, dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation, through our parents and our siblings, cousins and other family members. Loving and being loved makes us more human and helps us recognize God’s love in our lives.”
Every family is different and has to overcome great challenges to grow and to bring life to today’s world, holding on to happiness even when wounded, and preserving unity without divisions.
With this prayer intention, Francis reminds us how important it is for families to live a life of prayer and love that favors human and spiritual growth, following the example of Jesus Christ, who reveals to us what it means to be fully human. Families are “schools of true human growth.”
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