Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis
FAMILY COMMISSION Silvia Diana - OFS
Translation: Mary Stronach OFS
CONCLUSIONS OF THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY OCTOBER 2015
Chapter IV presents Family, affection (emotions) and life. We continue to integrate the richness of the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Lætitia (AL) and sharing our local realities, and reflecting on the beautiful treasure that is the family. We propose questions that help us to share, and we propose reading some points of the documents that we quote in the text.
Share in fraternity:
1. The Importance of a Life of Affection (Emotions)
1- How is the dialogue in our marriage and family life?
2- What are our strengths and what are our weaknesses?
3- What aspects are necessary or conducive -- to live, express and communicate better --with the purpose of making the mutual love of spouses more mature?
30. […] The Church’s challenge is to assist couples in the maturation of the emotional aspect of their relationship and in their emotional development through fostering dialogue, the life of virtue and trust in the merciful love of God. The commitment to full dedication required in Christian marriage is a strong antidote to the temptation of a person’s living an existence exclusively turned inwardly upon himself.
Dialogue is essential for experiencing, expressing and fostering love in marriage and family life. […] ( AL 136 )
Take time, quality time. This means being ready to listen patiently and attentively to everything the other person wants to say. . […] ( AL 137 ) .
[…] Love surmounts even the worst barriers. […] ( AL 140 )
2. Formation in Self-Giving
QUESTIONS: as parents:
1- Do we responsibly assume, as a challenging and exciting mission entrusted by God, the education of our children to help them grow as humans, emotionally, morally and spiritually?
31. The dynamic of family relations has a primary impact on the formation of younger generations. The speed of changes occurring in present-day society makes the work of accompanying a person’s emotional formation in sound growth and development more difficult. This process requires appropriate pastoral action which is abundantly equipped with a knowledge imbued with Scripture and Catholic doctrine and provided with suitable educational tools. A proper knowledge of the psychology of the family will serve as an assistance in ensuring that the Christian vision might be effectively transmitted. Such an effort might already begin with the catechesis of Christian Initiation. This formation is also meant to highlight the admirable character of the virtue of chastity, since the virtue of chastity is understood to mean the integration of emotions which fosters self-giving.
It should also take place inductively, so that children can learn for themselves the importance of certain values, principles and norms, rather than b y imposing these as absolute and unquestionable truths. […] ( AL 264 )
3. Weakness and Immaturity
As parents or concerned adults according to the "family" situation:
1- Do we assume the resposibility, as a mission entrusted by God, to help them mature humanly, emotionally, morally and spiritually in the fragility of its (the family’s) development and growth?
2- What aspects of contemporary culture today and the lifestyle of adolescents and young people hinder Christian education for love?
3- What could we do as adults to educate and help the younger generation to mature in their sexuality?
32. Many cultural tendencies exist in today's world whose goal is to impose a sexuality without any limits and where all emotional aspects are explored, even the more complex ones. The idea of emotional weakness is very timely; a narcissistic, unstable and changing affectivity does not help a person to achieve greater maturity. The following cultural tendencies need to be firmly denounced: the prevalence of pornography and the commercialization of the body which is promoted by a distorted use of the internet, forced prostitution and exploitation. […]
The Second Vatican Council spoke of the need for “a positive and pruden t sex education” to be imparted to children and adolescents “as they grow older”, wit h “due weight being given to advances in the psychological, pedogogical and didactic sciences […] ( AL 280)
4. Technologies in Human Procreation
1- Is parenthood a gift of God or a human right?
2- To what extent are the new technologies, that allow procreation and fertility beyond the natural limits, a right of parenthood or are they a gift from God?
3- Is being a parent, at any cost and without any limit, only because science permits it, for me today?
4- The position of Bishops is that "everything that is scientifically possible is not scientifically permitted." What is your opinion?
33. The technological revolution in the field of human procreation has introduced the ability to manipulate the reproductive act, making it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and a woman. In this way, human life and parenthood have become a modular and separable reality, subject mainly to the wishes of individuals or couples, who are not necessarily heterosexual and properly married. This phenomenon has occurred recently as an absolute novelty on the stage of humanity and is increasingly becoming more common. This situation has profound implications in the dynamics of relationships, in the structuring of social life and in legal systems which intervene to attempt to regulate practices already in place and various situations. In this regard, the Church feels required to speak a word of truth and hope…[…]
The family is the setting in which a new life is not only born but also welcomed as a gift of God. […] (AL166)
5. A Pastoral Challenge
1- Without diminishing the Christian ideal of marriage and family, what gestures of mercy and pastoral closeness have we had as a Church and personally to the new realities of family?
2- What (gestures) should we be offering?
34. […]In formation for conjugal and family life, pastoral care is to take into account the diversity of real-life situations. If, on the one hand, we must promote pathways to ensure the formation of young people for marriage; on the other, we must
accompany those who live alone or, without forming a new family, who frequently remain connected to their family of origin. Even couples who cannot have children should be given special pastoral attention by the Church to help them discover God’s plan in their situation which is in service to the whole community. Everyone needs to be understood, bearing in mind that situations far from the life of the Church are not always desired; oftentimes, they are created, and, at times, simply endured. From the vantage point of faith, no one is excluded: all are loved by God and are important in the Church’s pastoral activity..
In a word, we are called to show mercy because mercy was first shown to us [ …] (AL 310).
[…] . Instead, it sets us in the con text of a pastoral discernment filled with merciful love, which is ever ready to understand, forgive, accompany, hope, and above all integrate (AL312).
INTEGRATION QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC:
1- The family is the birthright of humanity, a sanctuary of life, a treasure -- which aspects have we experienced and witnessed that these are true statements about the family reality, both rich and simple at the same time?
2- Lists words -- such as for example: to integrate, to involve, to accept, to accompany etc. (Offer, hope, time, patience,) What other words would be helpful for some of the situations described above, considering that the Church seeks to find ways to become more inclusive?
3- How does our charism help (us) to learn and mature in the "pedagogy of love that is marriage and family?”
We finish our encounter praying together: THE PRAYER OF THE HOLY FAMILY.