Life after marriage is a little complex, people often face many odds and demotivation post-marriage. To lift the spirits of such people, Pope Francis sought a Sunday assembly to encourage married couples, also acknowledging that the pandemic has aggravated some family problems. However, he made a point to urge the couple to seek help and always remember three keywords in a marriage: “Please, thanks and sorry.”
Francis wrote a letter addressing wedded couples, which was delivered on Sunday, December 26, a Catholic feast day commemorating Jesus’ family. It came halfway through a yearlong celebration of the family announced by Francis that is due to conclude in June with a big family rally in Rome.
While Speaking at his studio window Sunday, Pope Francis further clarified that said he intended the letter to be his “Christmas present to married couples.” He also urged the married couples to keep having children to fight the “demographic winter” which, in Italy, has led to one of the lowest birth rates in the world. To hear this letter, believers of the faith attended Pope Francis’ Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican.
“Maybe we aren’t born into an exceptional, problem-free family, but our family is our story — everyone has to think: It’s my story,” said Pope Francis. “They are our roots: If we cut them, life dries up!” he added.
In the letter, Francis said lockdowns and quarantine periods had constrained families to get to know each other. However, he noticed that such forceful togetherness has now and again tested the tolerance of parents and siblings alike and in some cases led to real difficulties.
“Pre-existing problems were aggravated, creating conflicts that in some cases became almost unbearable. Many even experienced the breakup of a relationship,” Francis wrote.
Pope also offered his closeness to families and reminded parents that the breakup of a marriage is particularly hard on children, who look to their parents as a constant source of stability, love, trust and strength.
“The breakdown of a marriage causes immense suffering, since many hopes are dashed, and misunderstandings can lead to arguments and hurt not easily healed,” he said. “Children end up having to suffer the pain of seeing their parents no longer together.”
While urging parents to keep seeking help to try to overcome conflicts, including through prayer he said, “Remember also that forgiveness heals every wound.”
Picking up the theme in his remarks to tourists and passers-by in St. Peter’s Square, Francis stated that a failure to make peace before going to bed at night can lead to a “cold war” the next morning. He stated, “How many times, unfortunately, conflicts originate within the domestic walls due to prolonged periods of silence and from unchecked selfishness!”. He also went on to add, “Sometimes it even ends up in physical and moral violence. This lacerates harmony and kills the family.”
Pointing out the communication gap between people, he urged families to put down their cellphones at the dinner table and talk. “It’s sad to see a family at lunch, each one with his or her cell phone not speaking to one another, everyone talking to the mobile phone,” he said.
He concluded by saying that When an argument breaks out, each one repeats their refrains “staging a comedy they’ve already seen where everyone wants to be right and in the end, a cold silence falls. That sharp, cold silence, after a family discussion, is ugly, so very ugly!” he said. He urged parents to think not of themselves but others and to pray “for the gift of peace.