· ​Pope Francis’ letter in preparation for the World Meeting of Families ·

sjg-stg4“The family continue[s] to be good news for today’s world”, Pope Francis wrote in a letter to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, in preparation for the ninth World Meeting of Families which will be held from 21 to 26 August in Dublin, Ireland, with the theme “The Gospel of the Family: joy for the world”.

“It is my wish for families to have a way of deepening their reflection and their sharing of the content of the post-Syndoal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia”, the Pontiff wrote to the Prefect. Today, more than ever, he continued, there is a “need of renewed humility that forms the desire to form ourselves, to educate and be educated, to help and be helped, to accompany, discern and integrate all men of good will”.

“I dream of an outbound Church, not a self-referential one, a Church that does not pass far from man’s wounds, a merciful Church that proclaims the heart of the revelation of God as Love, which is Mercy”, Pope Francis wrote. “It is this very mercy that makes us new in love; and we know how much Christian families are a place of mercy and witnesses of mercy”.

In his message the Pope stressed in particular that “the family … is the ‘yes’ of God as love”. Only from love “can the family manifest, spread and regenerate God’s love in the world”. That is why, he explained, “without love, we cannot live as children of God, as couples, parents and brothers”.

“I wish to underline how important it is for families to ask themselves often if they live based on love, for love and in love”, the Pope wrote. “In practice, this means giving oneself, forgiving, not losing patience, anticipating the other, respecting”. And family life would surely be better, he added “if we lived according to the words ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’”.

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