Saturday, October 18, 2014

My takeaways from Synod14's final message

Because it is readily available, I don't want to simply re-state the final message from Synod14. I do want to observe that it is a beautiful document, far exceeding in every way the mid-term report, which certainly had some excellent features, including what it relayed in certain sections of Part III about marriage, including an outstanding section on Humanae Vitae. Sadly, all of these were overlooked as a result of some troublingly vague and ambiguous passages about other, no less important, matters.

In my view, Synod14's final message leaves us with a lot hope about what will occur over this next year leading up to Synod15.

I simply offer below several passages, in sequential order, from today's message that I found deeply moving:
On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. In your homes there are light and shadow. Challenges often present themselves and at times even great trials. The darkness can grow deep to the point of becoming a dense shadow when evil and sin work into the heart of the family
We recognize the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love. Enfeebled faith and indifference to true values, individualism, impoverishment of relationships, and stress that excludes reflection leave their mark on family life. There are often crises in marriage, often confronted in haste and without the courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to forgive one another. Failures give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic, where the Christian choice is not obvious
This light—the light of a wedding story—shines from the encounter between spouses... This authentic encounter begins with courtship, a time of waiting and preparation. It is realized in the sacrament where God sets his seal, his presence, and grace. This path also includes sexual relationship, tenderness, intimacy, and beauty capable of lasting longer than the vigor and freshness of youth. Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one’s life for the beloved (cf Jn 15:13). In this light conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties. It is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common
Finally, this amazing sentence, which says a lot not only about who are, but Him who makes us who we are: "The high point which sums up all the threads of communion with God and neighbor is the Sunday Eucharist when the family and the whole Church sits at table with the Lord. He gives himself to all of us, pilgrims through history towards the goal of the final encounter when 'Christ is all and in all' (Col 3:11)." I'll be honest, reading that brought tears to my eyes.

Venerable Pope Paul VI- to be Blessed Pope Paul VI as of tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day that Pope Francis himself will beatify the Venerable Pope Paul VI. So after tomorrow we can say, "Blessed Pope Paul VI, pray for us!" Seeking his intercession, along that of St Gianna Molla, Pope St John XXIII, Pope St John Paul II, is something I plan to do often over the course of the next year.

Let us also pray often the prayer given to us at the very end of the final message from Synod14:
Father, grant to all families the presence of strong and wise spouses who may be the source of a free and united family.

Father, grant that parents may have a home in which to live in peace with their families.

Father, grant that children may be a sign of trust and hope and that young people may have the courage to forge life-long, faithful commitments.

Father, grant to all that they may be able to earn bread with their hands, that they may enjoy serenity of spirit and that they may keep aflame the torch of faith even in periods of darkness.

Father, grant that we may all see flourish a Church that is ever more faithful and credible, a just and humane city, a world that loves truth, justice and mercy

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