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Pope: ‘Plates fly’ in marriage but ‘don’t end the day without making peace’

May 22, 2015
Valerie Schmalz

Throughout his young pontificate, Pope Francis has been offering practical advice and theological reflections to married couples, to those considering marriage, and to the whole world.

Take this piece of advice given to the young people on the Caracciolo seafront in Naples March 21:

“In marriage there is also fighting and ... plates fly,” Pope Francis said. “I try to give practical advice: fight as much as you want, but don’t end the day without making peace. In order to do this, you don’t have to get on your knees, a caress would suffice.”

And he offers some advice for the daily life: “Then, it is always important to ask the other if he or she likes something: you are together, in a marriage ‘I’ is not good, ‘we’ is much more effective. What they say about marriage is also true: joy for two: three times more joy; pain and suffering: half the pain and half the suffering. Married life should be lived like this and this is done through prayer, a great deal of prayer and witness, so that the love doesn’t burn out.”

Addressing the participants in the International Colloquium on the complementarity between man and woman sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Nov. 17, 2014, in Rome, Pope Francis called marriage and family the “intangible assets” of a nation. “The family is the foundation of co-existence and a guarantee against social fragmentation. Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s growth and emotional development,” Pope Francis said. “This is why, in the apostolic exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium,’ I stressed the ‘indispensable’ contribution of marriage to society, a contribution which ‘transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple.’”

While Pope Francis has repeatedly stated the importance of marriage and indispensable role of parents and family, in December he began a series of catecheses at his Wednesday audiences on the family that continue.

But even before all of these comments, Pope Francis April 2, 2014, catechesis on the sacrament of marriage, given during his Wednesday audience at St. Peter’s Square, is one to treasure:

“At the beginning of the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, at the culmination of the creation account it says: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ... Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 1:27; 2:24). The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together.”

And Pope Francis goes on to say: “When a man and woman celebrate the sacrament of matrimony, God as it were ‘is mirrored’ in them; he impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love. Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.”

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