Pope Francis reflected at the general audience on the Bible’s “splendid book of Ruth, a jewel of the Bible,” which he said is, along with the Canticle of Canticles, a reflection on nuptial and family love.
Focused on the story of Naomi and Ruth, the book is a testament to the fruits of family devotion, the Holy Father explained.
Drawing from the Book of Ruth, Pope Francis had concrete advice regarding mothers-in-law:
I won’t say that we think of the mother-in-law as the devil but she is always thought of as an unpleasant figure. But the mother-in-law is the mother of your husband; the mother of your wife.
Let us think today about this rather widespread feeling that the farther away the mother-in-law is, the better. No! She is a mother, she is elderly.
One of the most beautiful things about grandmothers is seeing the grandchildren – when their children have children of their own, they come alive again.
Look closely at the relationship you have with your mothers-in-law: at times they are a bit difficult, but they have been the mother to your spouse, they have given you everything. We should at least make them happy, so that they go forth into their old age with joy. And if they have some fault, we should help them to correct it.
And to you, mothers-in-law, I say: be careful with your tongue, because its misuse is one of the worst sins of mothers-in-law. Be careful.