Hearing different voices has been a particular theme of MFL Westminster during the lockdown. As we are now learning to live with the constraints and pressures of living in a pandemic it is good to hear words that can affirm our relationships and help us to grow together.
Our thanks to Brian and Maureen Devine, Coordinators Two In One Flesh for this touching reflection.
Roger Carr-Jones Marriage & Family Life Coordinator
We would like to start with some words of Pope Francis, taken from his New Year homily 2018: “You can have flaws, be anxious, and even be angry, but do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can stop it from going bust. Many appreciate you, admire you and love you. Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.”
We know that couples can hit rock bottom quite hard, especially after long periods of romance in their marriage. The reality at such times is that we become two individuals with differences that need to be reconciled. It can be a heart-breaking time.
We have to remind ourselves that we are human be-ings, not just human do-ings. With the world’s pace of life, the demands of economic survival becoming even more challenging, plus the stresses involved in bringing up a family these days, we might be forgiven for wondering ‘when do I/we get a chance to be’? The Word of God through scripture looks into the deepest aspects of our humanity, the negative ones but also our integrity, humility and honesty.
St Paul for example, makes it clear that our humanity is not to be judged by the world’s wisdom. Jesus “has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom” (1 Corinthians 30). In the Gospels, Jesus has set out a ‘blueprint’ for how He would like us to live out those attributes in our life.
These are commonly called the Be-attitudes; how we can Be more like Jesus. For us couples, it means always being able to approach each other. This might include being ‘gentle’ towards one another, sharing each others ‘sadness’, seeking what is ‘right’ for our marriage, and being ‘merciful’ and ‘peacemakers’ when things go wrong. Pope Francis would certainly encourage us to do this.