Part 8 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:
211. More on marriage prep. (All of this is mostly well and good, but it fails to comprehend that the average parish priest has a lot more on his plate than just counseling couples who wish to be married.)
212. Pope argues for simple rather than elaborate and expensive marriages. (The Pope is completely correct on this.)
213. Couples in marriage prep should be taught the meaning of each part of the marriage liturgy.
214. The Pope lays stress on the phrase “till death do we part”.
215. Quotes approvingly the Kenyon bishops who have complained about young people focused on their wedding day and forgetting about the life long commitment.
216. Couples to be married should meditate upon the Bible readings and they should pray together. (The last is very important indeed, and just not prior to the marriage. In all marriages there are always some tears, and praying together at the end of the day is a great means to deal with the inevitable sorrows that confront us in this Vale of Tears.)
217. Couples need help during the first years of married life to learn to truly love and appreciate each other when the first stage of physical infatuation passes.
218. Couples need to understand that their marriage is an ongoing life long project.
219. Hope is necessary ingredient in all marriages.
220. Love in marriage is often a matter of tender negotiation and making decisions together.
221. Inflated expectations can help destroy a marriage.
222. Number of children are up to parents with properly informed consciences and abiding by the teachings of the Church. Greater emphasis should be placed on the fact that kids are a glorious gift from God.
223. Experienced husbands and wives with lasting marriages should help counsel newly weds. (A good sense of humor always comes in handy in a marriage.)
224. Husbands and wives should always make time for each other.
225. Couples need to learn how to spend time with each other. “Once a couple no longer knows how to spend time together, one or both of them will end up taking refuge in gadgets, finding other commitments, seeking the embrace of another, or simply looking for ways to flee what has become an uncomfortable closeness.” (Wise words.)
226. Young newlyweds should be encouraged to develop patterns of routine that help bring them together.
227. Families that pray together stay together.
228. Marriages where one spouse does not practice the Faith pose special challenges, challenges that can with grace be overcome. “the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband” (1 Cor 7:14).
229. Parishes can help married couples in various ways.
230. A missionary effort to married couples who have fallen away from the Church must be undertaken.
231. Love between those married for a very long time is a wondrous thing.
232. Crises can strengthen a marriage.
233. When problems are not dealt with in a marriage, communication is the first thing to go.
234. Crises in a marriage need to be faced together.
235. Many crises are typical of most marriages: births of children, health problems, financial problems, the problem of the empty nest, etc.
236. “To know how to forgive and to feel forgiven is a basic experience in family life”.