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“Love in marriage requires dialogue, which requires us to recognise that we all communicate in different ways. Learn to be an effective listener. Recognise the importance of the person with whom you are disagreeing….Try to understand the other’s point of view before responding, be aware of the emotions that are being evoked within you , and respond accordingly. Love the person with whom you are disagreeing.”

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia: Chapter 4

“A marriage without arguments is pretty boring. Yet there is a secret: plates can fly but the secret is to make up before the end of the day. And to make up there is no need to talk; a caress is enough and peace returns…if you do not make up before going to bed, the cold war of the following day is too dangerous, resentment builds up.”

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“Of all the kinds of human fruitfulness, marriage is unique. It is about a love that gives rise to new life. It involves mutual responsibility for the transmission of God’s gift of life, and it provides a stable environment in which that new life can grow and flourish.

Marriage in the Church, that is the sacrament of matrimony, shares in a special way in the mystery of God’s eternal love. When a Christian man and woman enter the bond of marriage, God’s grace enables them freely to promise one another an exclusive and enduring love.

Their union thus becomes a sacramental sign – the sacrament of marriage becomes a sacramental sign of the new and eternal covenant between the Lord and his bride, the Church. Jesus is ever present in their midst. He sustains them throughout life in their mutual gift of self, in fidelity and in indissoluble unity [Gaudium et Spes, 48].

Jesus’ love is, for couples, a rock and a refuge in times of trial but, more importantly, a source of constant growth in pure and enduring love. Gamble big, for your entire life! Take a risk! Because marriage is also a risk, but it is a risk worth taking. For your whole life, because that is how love is.”

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“We know that love is God’s dream for us and for the whole human family. Please, never forget this! God has a dream for us and he asks us to make it our own. So do not be afraid of that dream! Dream big! Cherish that dream and dream it together each day anew. In this way, you will be able to support one another with hope, strength and forgiveness at those moments when the path grows rocky and it becomes hard to see the road ahead.

In the Bible, God binds himself to remain faithful to his covenant, even when we grieve him or grow weak in our love.. What does God say in the Bible to his people? Listen carefully: “I will never fail you nor forsake you!” (Heb 13:5).

And you as husbands and wives, anoint one another with those words of promise, every day for the rest of your lives. And never stop dreaming! Keep repeating in your heart: “I will never fail you nor forsake you”.

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“It is in the home that we learn to believe, through the quiet daily example of parents who love our Lord and trust in his Word. There in the home, which we call the “domestic church”, children learn the meaning of fidelity, integrity and sacrifice.

They see how their mother and father interact with each other, how they care for each other and for others, how they love God and love the Church. In this way children can breathe in the fresh air of the Gospel, and learn to understand, judge and act in a manner worthy of the legacy of faith they have received.

The faith, brothers and sisters, is passed on “around the family table”, at home in ordinary conversation, in the language that persevering love alone knows how to speak.”

Pope Francis, Pro Cathedral Dublin, World Meeting of Families 2018

“It’s important to ask yourselves if it’s possible to love one another “forever”…. Today everything changes rapidly; nothing lasts long…And this mentality leads so many who are preparing for marriage to say: “we are together while love lasts”, and then? Greetings and good bye..And so marriage ends.

But what do we understand by “love”? Is it only a feeling, a psycho-physical state? Of course if it’s this, one cannot build on something solid. But if, instead, love is a relationship, then it’s a reality that grows, and we can also say, by way of example, that it is built as a house. And the house is built together, not by one alone! Here to build means to foster and help growth.

Dear fiancé(e)s, you are preparing yourselves to grow together, to build this house, to live together forever. You don’t want to build it on the sand of sentiments that come and go, but on the rock of true love that comes from God.

The family is born from this project of love that wishes to grow, as a house is built that is a place of affection, of help, of hope, of support. As the love of God is stable and forever, so we also want the love that founds the family to be stable and forever. Please, we must not let ourselves be conquered by the “culture of the provisional”! This culture that invades everyone today, this culture of the provisional, is not the way!

So how is this fear of “forever cured? It’s cured day by day by entrusting oneself to the Lord Jesus in a life that becomes a daily spiritual journey, made up of steps – small steps, steps of joint growth – made up of commitment to become mature women and men of faith. Because, dear fiancé(e)s, “forever” is not solely a question of duration! A marriage hasn’t succeeded just because it has lasted – its quality is important. The challenge of Christian spouses is to be together and to be able to love each other forever.

There comes to mind the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves: for you also, the Lord can multiply love and give it to you fresh and food every day. He has an infinite supply! He gives you the love that is the foundation of your union and He renews it every day. He reinforces it. And He renders it even greater when the family grows with children.

On this journey, prayer is important and necessary always…. Ask Jesus to multiply your love. In the prayer of the Our Father we say: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Spouses can also learn to pray thus: “Lord, give us today our daily love,” because the daily love of spouses is the bread, the true bread of the soul, that which sustains them to go forward….

This is the prayer of fiancé(e)s and spouses. Teach us to love one another, to will the good for each other! The more you entrust yourselves to Him the more your love will be “forever”, capable of being renewed and it will overcome every difficulty.”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, Valentine’s Day 2014

“It is an art to live together, a patient, beautiful and fascinating journey. It doesn’t end when you have won each other. Instead, it’s really then that it begins! This daily journey has rules that can be summarized in three phrases …. Phrases which I have repeated so many times to families: permission – that is “may I” … “thank you”  and “excuse me”.

“May I – Permission?” It is the polite request to be able to enter in the life of another with respect and care. It is necessary to learn to ask: may I do this? Are you happy that we do it this way? That we take this initiative, that we educate the children like this? Would you like to go out this evening? In sum, to ask permission means to be able to enter with courtesy in the life of others….

And it’s not easy, it’s not easy. Sometimes, instead, rather heavy ways are used, like some mountain boots! True love doesn’t impose itself with harshness and aggressiveness….courtesy preserves love. And today in our families, in our world, often violent and arrogant, there is need of much more courtesy. And this can begin at home.

“Thank you”. It seems easy to say this word, but we know it’s not like this…However, it’s important! We teach it to children, but then we forget it! Gratitude is an important sentiment!…..

In your relationship, and tomorrow in your married life, it’s important to keep alive the awareness that the other person is a gift of God, and one says thank you for God’s gifts! …and to say thank you to each other for everything. It’s not a kind word to be used with foreigners, to be well mannered. It’s necessary to be able to say thank you to one another, to go forward well together in your married life.

“Apology”. We make so many errors, so many mistakes in life. We all do…..Perhaps there’s not a day in which we don’t make some mistake. The Bible says that the just man sins seven times a day. And so we make mistakes…See, then, the need to use this simple word: “sorry”.

In general each one of us is quick to accuse the other and to justify ourselves. This began with our father Adam, when God asks him: “Adam, have you eaten of that fruit?” “I? No! She is the one who gave it to me!” We accuse the other so as not to say “sorry’, “pardon”. It’s an old story! It’s an instinct that is at the origin of so many disasters.

Let us learn to acknowledge our errors and to ask for pardon. “I’m sorry if I raised my voice today”; “I’m sorry I passed by without greeting you”; “I’m sorry I was late, “if this week I’ve been so silent,” “if I’ve talked too much without ever listening”; “I’m sorry I forgot”; “I’m sorry I was angry and took it our on you”…There are so many “sorrys” we can say each day.

A Christian family also grows this way. We all know that the perfect family doesn’t exist, or the perfect husband, or the perfect wife…..Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: never end a day without asking forgiveness from one another, without having peace return to your home, to your family….because if you end the day without making peace, what you have inside the next day is cold and hard and it’s more difficult to make peace.”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, Valentine’s Day 2014

“Make it a real celebration – because marriage is a celebration – a Christian celebration, not a wordly celebration.

The most profound motive for joy on that day is indicated in John’s Gospel: do you remember the wedding of Cana? At a certain point they ran out of wine and the celebration seemed ruined. Imagine ending the feast by drinking tea! No, it’s not on! Without wine, there is no celebration!

On Mary’s suggestion, in that moment Jesus reveals himself for the first time and gives a sign: he transforms the water into wine and, by so doing, saves the wedding celebration. What happened at Cana two thousand years ago happens, in fact, in every nuptial celebration: what will make your marriage full and profoundly true will be the presence of the Lord, who reveals himself and gives his grace. It’s his presence that offers the “good wine”, he is the secret of full joy, what truly warms the heart. It’s Jesus’ presence in that celebration….

Make the external signs of your celebration [the banquet, photographs, clothes and flowers], as the wine at Cana, reveal the Lord’s presence and remind you and everyone of the origin and reason for your joy…”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, St Valentine’s Day 2014

“Matrimony is also a work of every day; I could say a craftwork, a goldsmith’s work, because the husband has the task to make his wife more woman and the wife has the task to make her husband more man. To grow also in humanity, as man and as woman. And this is done between you. It is called growing together.

This doesn’t come from the air! The Lord blesses it, but it comes from your hands, from your attitudes, from your way of living, from your way of loving one another. Make yourselves grow! Always act so that the other grows. …And the children will have this legacy of having had a father and a mother that grew together, each one making the other more a man and more a woman!”

Pope Francis, Dialogue with Engaged Couples, Rome, St Valentine’s Day 2014

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