“Families have always been in my thoughts and prayers, but especially so during the pandemic, which has severely tested everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us,” says Pope Francis.
The Pope continued, “The present situation has made me want to accompany with humility, affection and openness each individual, married couple and family in all those situations in which you find yourselves.”
The Pope’s letter he hopes, would be a sign of his closeness to families and offer to them encouragement. “It is important,” reflects Pope Francis, “to experience God’s goodness and tenderness who, with His fatherly hand, guides the footsteps of spouses on the path of goodness.”
Below are the five key quotes from the letter, for your meditation.
“We are being asked to apply to ourselves the calling that Abraham received from the Lord to set out from his land and his father’s home towards a foreign land that God himself would show him (cf. Gen 12:1). We too have experienced uncertainty, loneliness, the loss of loved ones; we too have been forced to leave behind our certainties, our ‘comfort zones,’ our familiar ways of doing things and our ambitions, and to work for the welfare of our families and that of society as a whole, which also depends on us and our actions.”
2The Vocation of Marriage
“Marriage, as a vocation, calls you to steer a tiny boat – wave-tossed yet sturdy, thanks to the reality of the sacrament – across a sometimes stormy sea. How often do you want to say, or better, cry out, like the apostles: ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ (Mk 4:38). Let us never forget, though, that by virtue of the sacrament of matrimony, Jesus is present in that boat; he is concerned for you and he remains at your side amid the tempest.”
3Abandonment to Divine Providence
“Only by abandoning yourselves into the Lord’s hands will you be able to do what may seem impossible. Recognize your own weakness and powerlessness in the face of so many situations all around you, but at the same time be certain that Christ’s power will thus be manifested in your weakness (cf. 2 Cor 12:9).”
4Forgiveness heals every wound
“Remember also that forgiveness heals every wound. Mutual forgiveness is the fruit of an interior resolve that comes to maturity in prayer, in our relationship with God. It is a gift born of the grace poured out by Christ upon married couples whenever they turn to him and allow him to act.”
“No amount of difficulty can take away the joy of those who know that they are walking with the Lord ever at their side. Live out your vocation with enthusiasm. Never allow your faces to grow sad or gloomy; your husband or wife needs your smile. Your children need your looks of encouragement. Your priests and other families need your presence and your joy: the joy that comes from the Lord!”
Read the full message, here.