Pope Francis’s Amoris Laetitia came out on April 8th—how much have you read? If you need a little push, take the AL Challenge with us! We will read a small bit from Chapter 4 (Love in Marriage) and ask you to do something related to it for your marriage every day.
We will post it week-by-week so that if you’d prefer to print it out and put it on your fridge, that’s always a good option! They will also be up on our social media sites.
Sundays are your “day of rest” but that doesn’t mean you should slack off on your love 🙂
“Love is patient (1 Cor 13: 4)
Pope Francis: “The first word used is makrothyméi…Its meaning is clarified by the Greek translation of the Old Testament, where we read that God is ‘slow to anger’ (Ex 34:6; Num 14:18). It refers, then, to the quality of one who does not act on impulse and avoids giving offense… God’s ‘patience’, shown in his mercy towards sinners, is a sign of his real power” (Amoris Laetitia, no. 91).
Today, be aware of when you are tempted to be angry at your spouse, children, parents, or other relatives. Take a deep breath and remember that your first reaction is not always the most helpful or truest to the love that you have for that person. Also try to consider how your words will be taken before you say them, and whether the time is right to bring something up.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31).
Pope Francis: “We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the center and expect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively. Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily. We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds” (Amoris Laetitia, no. 92).
How many times do you find yourself frustrated at the imperfections of others in your family? Today, when something doesn’t go your way (and there will always be something!) tell yourself to stay calm and put it in perspective. Will it matter tomorrow?
“Love is patient” (1 Cor 13:4).
Pope Francis: “Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are. It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be. Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like” (Amoris Laetitia, no. 92).
Deep down, if we are being honest, we may expect everyone else to think like we do; or if they don’t, they should. Today, take the time to consciously appreciate one or two things that your spouse, children, or other family members do better than you, and recognize that they put up with your imperfections just as much as you put up with theirs!
“Love is kind…” (1 Cor 13:4).
Pope Francis: “The next word that Paul uses is chrestéuetai. The word is used only here in the entire Bible. It is derived from chrestós: a good person, one who shows his goodness by his deeds… Paul wants to make it clear that ‘patience’ is not a completely passive attitude, but one accompanied by activity, by a dynamic and creative interaction with others” (Amoris Laetitia, no. 93).
Sometimes saying that someone is a “good person” is a way of excusing bad choices they’ve made; but being good is a prerequisite of holiness, really. Show me a saint who couldn’t be first called a “good person”! What can you do today that may make others think, “Wow, he/she is just such a good person”?
“Love is kind” (1 Cor 13:4).
Pope Francis: “Throughout the text, it is clear that Paul wants to stress that love is more than a mere feeling. Rather, it should be understood along the lines of the Hebrew verb ‘to love’; it is ‘to do good’” (Amoris Laetitia, no. 94).
We don’t always feel like loving, but we know that when we fail to love, that doesn’t make us happy. Plan ahead today in order to love in action: put an extra granola bar in your purse to give to the man who stands at the corner where you work. Think about what might make your wife smile if she finds it in the middle of a day at home. Plan ahead to do good.
“Love is shown more by deeds than by words.” – St. Ignatius of Loyola
Pope Francis: “[Love] thus shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving” (Amoris Laetitia, no. 94).
Today, pick one of the services that your spouse usually provides and get to it before them as a surprise. Dishes, laundry, picking up the kids’ soccer stuff— beat them to it!