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Audio Available!
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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Homily (notes from Amoris Laetitia Ch 4)


"Love as I have loved you." For Christians love is different. In fact, love is what makes us what we are. Our witness as Christians is nothing if we do not have love.
Gos is the source of our love, as God Himself is love.
We see this is another way in Revelation today: the church is the bride of Christ. We are "married" to God in a sense in the Mass, which is one of the reasons girls wear such nice white dresses when they are to receive their First Communion. 
Married love is a model for how perfectly we should love in all types of relationship: friendship, sisterhood/ brotherhood (family), religious community (orders or the parish), teachers/coaches, classmates/ co-workers, etc.
Amoris Laetitia speaks about love in marriage in Chapter 4.  Pope Francis begins by examining St. Paul's 1 Cor 13 looking at each phrase, one by one, that describes love: patient, kind, not jealous nor boastful, not arrogant nor rude, does not insist on its own way, is not irritable nor resentful, does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  With this full picture of love he can now speak on married love. 
The key word he uses is TENDERNESS.  
Who's never read any of Pope Francis' documents?  They are way easier to read than JPII's or Benedict XVI's!!!



QUOTES FROM POPE FRANCIS' AMORIS LAETITIA CHAPTER FOUR:
Mothers, who are those who love the most, seek to love more than to be loved.
Indignation is only healthy when it makes us react to a grave injustice; when it permeates our attitude towards others it is harmful.
My advice is never let the day end without making peace in the family.  "And how am I going to make peace? By getting down on my knees? No! Just by a small gesture, a little something, and harmony within your family will be restored.  Just a little caress, no words are necessary.  But do not let the day end without making peace in your family.
There is no family that does not know how selfishness, discord, tension and conflict violently attack and at times mortally wound its own communion (JPII)
Blaming others becomes falsely reassuring.  We need to learn to pray over our past history, to accept ourselves, to learn how to live with our limitations, and even to forgive ourselves, in order to have this same attitude towards others.  All this assumes that we ourselves have had the experience of being forgiven by God.
rejoice at the good of others when we see their dignity and value their abilities and good works.  This is impossible for those who must always be comparing and competing, even with their spouse, so that they secretly rejoice in their failures.
...the use of the tongue.  The verb can mean "holding one's peace" about what may be wrong with another person.  It implies limiting judgment, checking the impulse to issue a firm and ruthless condemnation.
Married couples joined by love speak well of each other; they try to show their spouse's  good side, not their weakness and faults.  In any event, they keep silent rather than speak ill of them.
Recognizes that these failings are part of a bigger picture.  We have to realize that all of us are a complex mixture of light and shadows.
The other person loves me as best they can, with all their limits, but the fact that love is imperfect does not mean that it is untrue or unreal.  It is real, albeit limited and earthly.
Love trusts, it sets free, it does not try to control, possess and dominate everything.
though things may not always turn out as we wish, God may well make crooked lines straight and draw some good from the evil we endure in this world.  here hope comes most fully into its own, for it embraces the certainty of life after death.  Each person, with all his or her failings, is called to the fullness of life in heaven.
Not only the ability to tolerate certain aggravations, but something greater: a constant readiness to confront any challenge.  It is a love that never gives up, even in the darkest hour.
MLK Jr: The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hats you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it.  And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls 'the image of God,' you begin to love him in spite of [everything].  No matter what he does, you see God's image there.  There is an element of goodness that he can never sluff off... Another way that you love your enemy is this: when the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it... When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system... Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe.  If I hit your and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and so on, you see, that goes on [forever]. It just never ends.  Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that's the strong person.  The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil ... Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.
Marriage ins a precious sign, for 'when a man and a woman celebrate the sacrament of marriage, God is, as it were, 'mirrored' in them; he impresses in them hos own features and the indelible character of his love.  Marriage is he icon of God's love for us.  Indeed God is also communion;: the three Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit live eternally in perfect unity.  And this is precisely the mystery of marriage: God makes of the two spouses one single existence.
"Joy" refers to an expansion of the heart. Marital joy can be experienced even amid sorrow; it involves accepting that marriage is an inevitable mixture of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures, but always on the path of friendship. 
That "gaze" which contemplated other persons as ends in themselves...has enormous importance.
After suffering and struggling together, spouses are able to experience that it was weorth it, because they achieved some good, learned something as a couple, or came to appreciate what thye have.
Three words: 'Please,' 'Thank you,' 'Sorry.' Three essential words!
The right words, spoken at the right time, daily protect and nurture love
A love that fails to grow is at risk. Growth can only occur of we respond to God's grace through constant acts of love, acts of kindness that become ever more frequent, intense, generous, tender and cheerful.

Our way of asking and responding to questions, the tone we use, our timing and any number of other factors condition how well we communicate. We need to develop certain attitudes that express love and encourage authentic dialogue. Take time, quality time.


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