Thursday, June 2, 2016

5 Ways to Mercy and Mystical Union: Highlights from 'Amoris Laetitia' (311-317)

Highlights from Amoris Laetitia (311-317)
Chapter 8: The Logic of Pastoral Mercy
  • Mercy is the fullness of justice and the most radiant manifestation of God’s truth. (311)
  • [Mercy] sets us in the context of a pastoral discernment filled with merciful love, which is ever ready to understand, forgive, accompany, hope, and above all integrate. (312)
  • I encourage the faithful who find themselves in complicated situations to speak confidently with their pastors or with other lay people whose lives are committed to the Lord. They may not always encounter in them a confirmation of their own ideas or desires, but they will surely receive some light to help them better understand their situation and discover a path to personal growth. (312)
    • I especially love this advice. Being a faithful follower of Christ, I find (or have found) myself in complicated situations at various moments throughout my life, whether they be marital or not. It can be discouraging for the faithful to feel there is no hope in adhering to the Church's view. But here, and throughout the exhortation, Pope Francis gives us hope. It is not about being perfect; rather, it is about moving toward perfection. The path toward perfection is a lifelong journey, and knowing that we are loved despite our imperfect situations, is a grace in itself.
Chapter 9: The Spirituality of Marriage and the Family
  • The Lord’s presence dwells in real and concrete families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes.
  • Spirituality becomes incarnate in the communion of the family. Hence, those who have deep spiritual aspirations should not feel that the family detracts from their growth in the life of the Spirit, but rather see it as a path which the Lord is using to lead them to the heights of mystical union. (316)
    • Being a father and husband, I agree. That I cannot be a priest, monk, or theologian does not mean that my life has to be any less spiritual. The opposite is true. Jesus calls me to be deep in his Spirit as a husband, father, teacher, and neighbor, right where I am. It is about living my vocation in, with, and through Christ in the small moments of my day. It is about cooperating with God's many opportunities to love. My life, then, where it is, can be mystically unified with the Trinity. That is a beautiful truth.