PARENTS, SPOUSES, CHILDREN, FRIENDS:
WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR LOVE?
APPLY THESE BEAUTIFUL TIPS FROM POPE FRANCIS.
- LOVE IS PATIENT. DO NOT ACT ON IMPULSE AND AVOID GIVING OFFENSE. BE COMPASSIONATE: accept the other person even when he or she acts differently than you would like. He has the right to live in this world just as he is (AL 91-92).
- LOVE IS KIND. BE AT THE SERVICE OF OTHERS, HELP THEM, DO GOOD TO THEM even if you DO NOT feel like doing so. (AL 93-94)
- LOVE HAS NO ROOM FOR ENVY NOR JEALOUSY. VALUE THE OTHER PERSON’S ACHIEVEMENTS. DON’T SEE HIM AS A THREAT BUT RECOGNIZE HIS GIFTS AND HIS UNIQUE PATH IN LIFE. WHILE STRIVING TO DISCOVER YOUR OWN ROAD TO HAPPINESS, LOVE ALLOWS OTHERS TO FIND THEIRS. (AL 95-96)
- LOVE IS NOT BOASTFUL. AVOID SPEAKING TOO MUCH OF YOURSELF. BE FOCUSED ON OTHERS. Be humble, understanding and show concern. Don’t forget that love is founded on humility (AL 97-98)
- LOVE IS NOT RUDE. BE GENTLE, THOUGHTFUL, AND PLEASING. AVOID BEING HARSH, ABRASIVE OR RIGID. BE COURTEOUS, SENSITIVE AND RESPECTFUL OF THE OTHER’S FREEDOM. Wait until the other opens the door of his/her heart. For this, a KIND LOOK is essential. (AL 99-100)
- LOVE IS GENEROUS. DO NOT SEEK YOUR OWN INTEREST. DESIRE TO LOVE MORE RATHER THAN TO BE LOVED, EXPECTING NOTHING IN RETURN. (AL 101-102).
- LOVE IS NOT IRRITABLE OR RESENTFUL. OVERCOME THAT INTERIOR HOSTILITY which causes hurt and alienation. Before annoyance, ASK GOD TO BLESS, FREE AND HEAL THAT PERSON. FIGHT EVIL, ANGER, UNJUST INDIGNATION, AND SAY “NO” TO VIOLENCE IN THE HOME. (AL 103-104).
- LOVE FORGIVES. DO NOT ALLOW ILL-WILL OR RESENTMENT TO TAKE ROOT IN YOUR HEART. SEEK TO UNDERSTAND OTHER PEOPLE’S WEAKNESSES. BE OPEN TO UNDERSTANDING, TO FORBEARANCE, TO PARDON, AND TO RECONCILIATION. All these requires having personally experienced God’s forgiveness in order to imitate Him in our dealings with others. (105-108)
- LOVE REJOICES WITH AT THE GOOD OF OTHERS when it sees their dignity and value, their abilities and good works. DO NOT COMPARE NOR COMPETE, nor rejoice in the failure of others. BE HAPPY, GIVE GLORY TO GOD AND CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS IN THE FAMILY. (AL 109-110).
- LOVE “BEARS ALL THINGS”. TAME YOUR TONGUE. BE SERENE WITH THE IMPERFECTION OF THE YOUR SPOUSE. LIMIT JUDGMENTS, AVOID A RUTHLESS CONDEMNATION AND SLANDER. SPEAK WELL OF THE OTHER SPOUSE AND SHOW HIS GOOD SIDE. IF NOT, JUST KEEP SILENT rather than speak ill of the other. (AL 111-113).
- LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS. Love TRUSTS, it sets free, DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL, POSSESS AND DOMINATE EVERYTHING, thus, fostering INDEPENDENCE, SINCERITY AND TRANSPARENCY in marriage and family life. (AL 114-115).
- LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS. DO NOT DESPAIR of the future. It KNOWS THAT OTHERS CAN CHANGE, MATURE and radiate unexpected beauty and untold potential and believes that GOD MAY WELL MAKE CROOKED LINES STRAIGHT AND DRAW SOME GOOD FROM THE EVIL we endure in this world (AL 116-117).
- LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS. BEAR EVERY TRIAL WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. BE FIRM in hostile surroundings, ready to confront any hostile challenge committed to do good. LOVE NEVER GIVES UP IN THE DARKEST HOUR. DO NOT YIELD TO RESENTMENT, SCORN FOR OTHERS OR THE DESIRE TO HURT or to gain some advantage (AL 118-119).
14. WHAT IS CONJUGAL LOVE? THIS IS THE LOVE BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE, A LOVE SANCTIFIED, ENRICHED AND ILLUMINATED BY THE GRACE OF THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE. It is an “affective union”,spiritual and sacrificial, which combines the warmth of friendship and erotic passion, and ENDURES LONG AFTER EMOTIONS AND PASSION SUBSIDE (AL 120-122).
15. CONJUGAL LOVE COMMITS TO A LIFELONG SHARING AS EXPRESSED BY THE MARRIAGE VOWS. It is a covenant before God that calls for fidelity. IT REQUIRES A DAILY REBIRTH, RENEWAL AND REINVENTION, A CONSTANT PROCESS OF GROWTH. (AL 123-125).
16. IN MARRIAGE, THE JOY AND BEAUTY OF LOVE HAVE TO BE CULTIVATED AND IS A SHARED EFFORT. Marital joy can be EXPERIENCED and can GROW AMID PAIN AND SORROW. It involves THE ACCEPTANCE OF MARRIAGE AS AN INEVITABLE MIXTURE OF ENJOYMENT AND STRUGGLES, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures, but always on the path of friendship, which inspires married couples to care for one another: “they help and serve each other”. (AL 126-130).
17. LOVE REVEALS ITSELF AND INCREASES WHEN IT IS FREELY AND GENEROUSLY EXPRESSED IN WORDS AND ACTS. KNOW HOW to say: “THANK YOU”, “SORRY”, “PLEASE” day after day. The right words spoken at the right time daily protect and nurture love. A love that fails to grow is at risk. GROWTH CAN ONLY OCCUR IF WE RESPOND TO GOD’S GRACE THROUGH CONSTANT ACTS OF LOVE, ACTS OF KINDNESS THAT BECOME EVER MORE FREQUENT, INTENSE, GENEROUS, TENDER AND CHEERFUL. Love is not idyllic; rather, it is REALISTIC about our limits, defects and imperfections, and to RESPOND TO THE CALL TO GROW TOGETHER, TO BRING LOVE TO MATURITY AND TO STRENGTHEN THE UNION, COME WHAT MAY. (AL 133-134).
- DIALOGUE IS ESSENTIAL FOR EXPERIENCING, EXPRESSING AND FOSTERING LOVE IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE! Yet it can only be the fruit of a long and demanding apprenticeship. (AL 136)
- TAKE TIME, QUALITY TIME. BE READY TO LISTEN PATIENTLY AND ATTENTIVELY to everything the other person wants to say. DO NOT SPEAK UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT. Instead of offering an opinion or advice, we need to be sure that we have heard everything the other person has to say. This requires INTERIOR SILENCE. (AL 137)
- GIVE REAL IMPORTANCE TO THE OTHER PERSON. APPRECIATE and RECOGNIZE THEIR RIGHT TO EXIST, TO THINK AS THEY DO AND TO BE HAPPY. DO NOT DOWNPLAY WHAT THEY SAY OR THINK, even one needs to express your own point of view. Everyone has something to contribute. PUT YOURSELF IN THE OTHER’S SHOES AND TRY TO PEER INTO THEIR HEARTS, TO PERCEIVE THEIR DEEPEST CONCERNS AND TO TAKE THEM AS A POINT OF DEPARTURE FOR FURTHER DIALOGUE. (AL 138-141).
+++ Fr. Rolly A, priest of Opus Dei, May 15, 2016, Pentecost Sunday.
N.B. Most of the ideas are taken verbatim from Amoris Laetitia. I indicated the numbers of paragraph at the end from which the quote or idea was taken for your reference. Caps mine.