Preparation for marriage-The Pope’s Message

At the general audience, the Pope speaks of the need for a true catechumenate, for “we play all our lives with love yet love can’t be played with” “We cannot talk of “preparation for marriage” with three or four parish classes”. The Pope said so at the general audience in Saint Peter’s Square: what is needed is true catechumenate, for “we play all our lives with love yet love can’t be played with”.“The call to married life thus requires a careful discernment of the quality of the relationship and a time of engagement to verify it. To enter the sacrament of marriage, engaged couples must mature the certainty that in their bond there is the hand of God, which precedes and accompanies them, and will allow them to say: “With the grace of Christ I promise to be faithful to you always”, the Argentine Pontiff said.

“They cannot promise fidelity “in joy and pain, in health and in sickness”, and to love and honour each other every day of their lives, only on the basis of goodwill or of the hope that “things will work out”. They need to be based on the solid ground of God’s faithful Love. “The Sixth Commandment can safeguard us from so many forms of adultery”. And for this – Jorge Mario Bergoglio added – before receiving the sacrament of marriage we need careful preparation, I would say a catechumenate, for we play all our lives with love yet love can’t be played with. One cannot talk of “preparation for marriage” with three or four sessions given in the parish: no, this is not preparation, this is false preparation, and it’s their responsibility, of those who do this, on the parish priest, on the bishop who allows these things. The preparation must be mature and take time, it is not a formal act, it is a sacrament: but it must be prepared with a true catechumenate”.

Today the Pope spoke of the sixth commandment, “You shall not commit adultery”, in the framework of a cycle of catechesis on the decalogue entrusted by God to his people. “No human relationship is authentic without fidelity and loyalty”, he said, “one cannot love only as long as “it is convenient”, love manifests itself just beyond the threshold of one’s own advantage, when one gives everything unreservedly” and “even a friend proves authentic because they remain so in all circumstances, otherwise he or she is not a friend”.

The human being, the Pope said again, “needs to be loved unconditionally, and those who do not receive this welcome carry within themselves a certain incompleteness, often without knowing it. The human heart tries to fill this void with surrogates, accepting compromises and mediocrity that have only a vague taste of love. The risk is to call “love” relationships that are unripe and immature, with the illusion of finding the light of life in something that, at best, is only a reflection of it. This leads to overestimating physical attraction, which in itself is a gift from God but is aimed at preparing the way for an authentic and faithful relationship with the person”

Francis said, who quoted in this regard St. John Paul II, who in a catechesis of 1980 said, the human being “is called to the full and mature spontaneity of relationships”, which “is the gradual fruit of the discernment of the impulses of one’s heart”. It is something that is conquered since every human being “must with perseverance and consistency learn what the meaning of the body is”

Fidelity, the Pope said, “is a way of being, a way of life: to work with loyalty, to speak sincerely, to remain faithful to the truth in one’s thoughts, in one’s actions. A life interwoven with fidelity is expressed in all its dimensions and leads to being faithful and reliable men and women in every circumstance. Yet our human nature is not enough to reach such a beautiful life; it is necessary that God’s fidelity enters into our existence”, the Pope concluded, underlining that “From communion with Him, with the Father and with the Holy Spirit comes the communion between us and the ability to live our bonds in fidelity”.

Excerpt from the Basilican Magazine 8th Edition, 2018

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