One year ago, Pope Francis released The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), his apostolic exhortation on marriage and family.
In addition to reflections on Scripture and Church teachings, the Holy Father shares practical suggestions that can help husbands and wives as they strive to pray and work together for the growth of their families.
In order to highlight these practical suggestions, The Word Among Us Press has produced a book entitled Prayers for Catholic Couples. The book is made up of daily selections from The Joy of Love along with questions for reflection and prayers. Couples can read the excerpt and discuss the questions, then pray with each other. Alternatively, they can reflect on the passages individually and see how the Holy Spirit builds up their relationship.
Some of the themes in the book include God’s presence in imperfect family situations, how families can spend fruitful time together, and loving habits and traditions that spouses can build together. For families raising children, Pope Francis reflects on the complexities of the digital age, the gift of adoption, and the challenge of passing on the faith. This isn’t just conventional wisdom: it’s spiritual guidance that will encourage couples everywhere to deepen their love for each other and their mutual love for the Lord.
Prayers for Catholic Couples: With Reflections from Pope Francis on The Joy of Love is available online at www.wau.org and amazon.com.
Rooting Out Resentment
An excerpt from Prayers for Catholic Couples
Once we allow ill will to take root in our hearts, it leads to deep resentment. . . . [L]ove “takes no account of evil”; “it is not resentful.” The opposite of resentment is forgiveness, which is rooted in a positive attitude that seeks to understand other people’s weaknesses and to excuse them. As Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). Yet we keep looking for more and more faults, imagining greater evils, presuming all kinds of bad intentions, and so resentment grows and deepens. Thus, every mistake or lapse on the part of a spouse can harm the bond of love and the stability of the family. —Amoris Laetitia, 105
Do you keep a record of your spouse’s wrongs? How does this affect how you relate to your husband or wife and interpret their behavior? How can you instead keep a record of your spouse’s positive attributes at the forefront of your mind?
Lord, your forgiveness and compassion are so great. Help us be understanding of the weaknesses of the other. Give us your grace so that we can choose to let go of all bitterness. Bring us to greater unity as we forgive each other. Fill us with your inexhaustible mercy and love.