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Catechesis by Pope Francis on 3 sayings within the Family
General Audience, Wednesday 13 May 2015 - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Today’s catechesis will serve as a doorway to a series of reflections on family life and what it’s really like to live in a family, day in and day out. Imagine three expressions written above the doorway; expressions I’ve already mentioned here in St Peter’s Square several times before. The expressions are: “may I?”, “thank you”, and “pardon me”. Indeed, these expressions open up the way to living well in your family, to living in peace. They are simple expressions, but not so simple to put into practice! They hold much power: the power to keep home life intact even when tested with a thousand problems. But if they are absent, little holes can start to crack open and the whole thing may even collapse.

We usually include these expressions under the general category of being “well-mannered”. Okay, a well-mannered person asks permission, says thanks, and asks forgiveness after making a mistake. Very well. But good manners really are that important. A great Bishop, Francis de Sales, used to say that “good manners are are already half the way to holiness”. But be careful: history has shown that good manners also can become a kind of formalism that masks a dryness of soul and indifference toward the other person. It is often said, “behind a lot of good manners lurk a lot of bad habits”. Not even religion is immune from the risk of having formal observance sink into spiritual worldliness. The Devil, tempting Jesus, boasts of good manners. Indeed, he presents himself as a gentleman, a knight in shining armor. He even presents himself as a theologian by quoting Holy Scripture. He appears to have everything right and neat on the outside, but his intent is always to lead others astray from the truth of God’s love. We, however, mean “good manners” only in the most authentic way, according to which the habit of cultivating good relations is firmly rooted in a love for the good and a respect for the other person. The family lives according to this refined sense of loving.

Let’s look at these expressions: the first expression is, “may I?” When we take care to ask for something kindly — even something we think we have a rightful claim to — we help to strengthen the common life that undergirds marriage and the family. Entering into the life of another, even when that person already has a part to play in our life, demands the sensitivity of a non-invasive attitude which renews trust and respect. Indeed, the deeper and more intimate love is, the more it calls for respect for the other’s freedom and the ability to wait until the other open’s the door to his or her heart. At this point, we can remember the words of Jesus in the Book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (3:20). Even the Lord asks permission to enter! Let us not forget that. Before doing anything in your family, ask: “Do you mind if I do this? Would you like me to do this?” This way of asking is well-mannered indeed, but it is also full of love. This does so much good for families.

The second expression is “thank you”. Sometimes we have to wonder if we are turning into a civilization of bad manners and bad words, as if this were a sign of self-liberation. It’s not uncommon to hear these bad words publicly. Kindness and the ability to say “thank you” are often considered a sign of weakness and raise the suspicion of others. This tendency is encountered even within the nucleus of the family. We must become firmly determined to educate others to be grateful and appreciative: the dignity of the person and social justice must both pass through the portal of the family. If family life neglects this style of living, social life will also reject it. Gratitude, however, stands at the very core of the faith of the believer. A Christian who does not know how to thank has lost the very “language” of God. This is terrible! Let’s not forget Jesus’ question after he heals the ten lepers and only one of them returns to thank him (Luke 17:18). I remember once listening to a very wise, old person; very simple, but with that uncommon wisdom of life and piety: “Gratitude is a plant that grows only in the soil of noble souls”. That nobility of soul, that grace of God in the soul compels us to say “thank you” with gratitude. It is the flower of a noble soul. This really is something beautiful.

The third expression is “pardon me”. Granted, it’s not always easy to say, but it is so necessary. Whenever it is lacking, the little cracks begin to open up — even when we don’t want them to — and they can even become enormous sinkholes. It’s hardly insignificant that in the “Our Father” that Jesus teaches us — a prayer that sums up all of life’s essential questions — we find this expression: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matt 6:16). To acknowledge that we have fallen short, to be desirous of returning that which has been taken away — respect, sincerity, love — these make us worthy of pardon. This is how we heal the infection. If we are not able to forgive ourselves, then we are no longer able to forgive period. A house in which the words “I’m sorry” are never uttered begins to lack air, and the flood waters begin to choke those who live inside. So many wounds, so many scrapes and bruises are the result of a lack of these precious words: “I am sorry”. Marital life is so often torn apart by fights … the “plates will even start flying”, but let me give you a word of advice: never finish the day without making peace with one another. Listen to me carefully: did you fight with your wife or husband? Kids — did you fight with your parents? Did you seriously argue? That’s not a good thing, but it’s not really that which is the problem: the problem arises only if this feeling hangs over into the next day. So if you’ve fought, do not let the day end without making peace with your family. And how am I going to make peace? By getting down on my knees? No! Just by a small gesture, a little something, and harmony within your family will be restored. Just a little caress, no words necessary. But don’t let the sun go down on your family without having made your peace. Do you understand me? It’s not easy, but you have to do it. It will help to make life so much more beautiful.

So these three key expressions for family life are really simple words; so simple that perhaps they even bring a smile to our face. But when we forget them, it’s no laughing matter, right? Perhaps we overlook our good manners too often. May the Lord help us to put them back where they belong: in our hearts, in our homes, and in our civic life. These are the words that truly enter into the love of a family.."


Greetings:
"Je suis heureux d’accueillir les pèlerins francophones, venus de France et d’autres pays. Je salue particulièrement les membres de l’Entraide missionnaire internationale. Chers amis, j’encourage vivement votre service des Congrégations et des Diocèses pour faciliter l’accès de leurs membres aux soins de santé et favoriser ainsi leur dévouement à la mission. Je demande au Seigneur de faire grandir chez tous le souci de l’annonce de la joie de l’Évangile. Que Dieu vous bénisse !

[Sono lieto di accogliere i pellegrini di lingua francese, venuti dalla Francia e da altri paesi. Saluto particolarmente i membri dell’Entraide missionnaire internationale. Cari amici, incoraggio vivamente il vostro servizio alle Congregazioni e alle Diocesi per facilitare l’accesso dei loro membri all’assistenza sanitaria e favorire anche la loro dedizione alla missione. Chiedo al Signore di far accrescere in tutti il compito dell’annuncio della gioia del Vangelo. Che Dio vi benedica!]

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Sweden, Taiwan, Cameroon and the United States. May Jesus Christ strengthen you and your families in faith, so that you may be a sign to the world of his love and mercy. May God bless you all!

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Svezia, Taiwan, Camerun e Stati Uniti. Gesù Cristo rafforzi nella fede voi e le vostre famiglie, perché possiate essere nel mondo segni del suo amore e della sua misericordia. Dio vi benedica tutti!]

Mit Freude heiße ich die Gläubigen deutscher Sprache willkommen, besonders die Priesteramtskandidaten aus dem überdiözesanen Seminar „Leopoldinum“. Im Marienmonat Mai verbinden wir uns im Gebet zur allerseligsten Jungfrau Maria und vertrauen ihr insbesondere unsere Familien an. Von Herzen segne ich euch.

[Sono lieto di accogliere i fedeli di lingua tedesca, in particolare i candidati al sacerdozio provenienti dal Seminario interdiocesano “Leopoldinum” di Heiligenkreuz. In questo mese mariano di maggio, uniamoci nella preghiera alla Beatissima Vergine Maria affidandole specialmente le nostre famiglie. Di cuore vi benedico.]

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España, México, Honduras, Argentina y otros países latinoamericanos. Que el Señor nos ayude a colocar estas tres palabras en su justo lugar, en nuestro corazón, en nuestra casa, y también en nuestra convivencia civil. Muchas gracias.

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua spagnola, in particolare i gruppi provenienti da Spagna, Messico, Honduras, Argentina e altri Paesi latinoamericani. Il Signore ci aiuti a collocare queste tre parole nel loro giusto luogo, nel nostro cuore, nella nostra casa, e anche nella nostra convivenza civile. Molte grazie.]

Dirijo uma cordial saudação, com votos de graça e paz do Céu, a todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, particularmente as várias paróquias e grupos do Brasil. Neste dia de Nossa Senhora de Fátima, convido-vos a multiplicar os gestos diários de veneração e imitação da Mãe de Deus. Confiai-Lhe tudo o que sois, tudo o que tendes; e assim conseguireis ser um instrumento da misericórdia e ternura de Deus para os vossos familiares, vizinhos e amigos. A todos abençoo no Senhor.

[Rivolgo un cordiale saluto, con gli auguri di grazia e pace dal Cielo, a tutti i pellegrini di lingua portoghese, in particolare le diverse parrocchie e i gruppi del Brasile. In questo giorno della Madonna di Fatima, vi invito a moltiplicare i gesti quotidiani di venerazione e imitazione della Madre di Dio. Affidatele tutto ciò che siete, tutto ciò che avete; e così riuscirete ad essere uno strumento della misericordia e della tenerezza di Dio per i vostri familiari, vicini e amici. Tutti benedico nel Signore.]

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشّرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، العيش معًا هو فنٌّ ومسيرة صبورة جميلة ومدهشة، ولهذه المسيرة قوانينها ويمكن أن نلخّصها بهذه الكلمات الثلاث: أَمِنَ المُمكِن، شكرًا، عذرًا. ليساعدنا الربّ لنعيدها إلى مكانها الصحيح في قلبنا وبيتنا. ليبارككُم الربّ!

[Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua araba, in particolare a quelli provenienti dal Medio Oriente! Cari fratelli e sorelle, vivere insieme è un’arte, un cammino paziente, bello e affascinante, e questo cammino ha delle regole che si possono riassumere in queste tre parole: permesso, grazie e scusa. Il Signore ci aiuti a rimetterle al posto giusto nel nostro cuore e nella nostra casa. Il Signore vi benedica!]

Serdecznie pozdrawiam pielgrzymów polskich, a szczególnie dzieci z Parafii św. Stanisława w Rzymie, które w minioną niedzielę przystąpiły do I Komunii Świętej. Wam kochane dzieci i wszystkim dzieciom w Polsce, które w tym roku przeżywają tę samą uroczystość, życzę, byście zawsze kochały Pana Jezusa, ufały Mu, trwały z Nim w przyjaźni. Niech On was prowadzi i błogosławi wam, waszym rodzicom, katechetom oraz bliskim. W nas wszystkich niech odrodzi przeżycie piękna tego pierwszego spotkania z Nim w Eucharystii. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini polacchi, e in modo particolare i bambini della Parrocchia di San Stanislao di Roma, che hanno ricevuto la Prima Comunione domenica scorsa. A voi cari bambini e a tutti i bambini della Polonia che quest’anno ricevono la Prima Comunione, auguro di amare sempre Gesù, fidarsi di Lui, e vivere in amicizia con Lui, affinché Egli stesso vi guidi e benedica voi, i vostri genitori, i catechisti e coloro che vi stanno vicino. In noi tutti si rinnovi il ricordo del Primo incontro con Gesù Eucaristia. Sia lodato Gesù Cristo.]

* * *

Porgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. Saluto i sacerdoti del Collegio San Paolo, che tornano nelle rispettive Diocesi al termine degli studi teologici a Roma e le Missionarie della Consolata. Vi esorto a non perdere mai l’entusiasmo dei discepoli missionari e dei testimoni del Risorto. Saluto i partecipanti al Seminario sugli Allenatori promosso dal Pontificio Consiglio per i Laici; la Società Sportiva Sordomuti di Milano; gli studenti della Fondazione Sorella Natura e della Scuola dell’Infanzia “San Benedetto” di Troia, con il Vescovo Mons. Domenico Cornacchia, in occasione del 50° anniversario di fondazione. Tutti incoraggio a vivere bene il Tempo Pasquale nelle proprie famiglie e negli ambienti di lavoro portando la gioia della Risurrezione.

Un particolare pensiero rivolgo ai giovani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli. Oggi è la memoria liturgica della Beata Vergine Maria di Fatima. Cari giovani, imparate a coltivare la devozione alla Madre di Dio, con la recita quotidiana del Rosario; cari ammalati, sentite Maria presente nell’ora della croce e voi, cari sposi novelli, pregatela perché non manchi mai nella vostra casa l’amore e il rispetto reciproco."

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Catechesis by Pope Francis on the Family
Prayer for the Synod of Bishops on the Family
General Audience, Wednesday 25 March 2015 - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
In our series of catecheses on the family, today’s is a special step: it will be a pause in prayer.

Indeed, on 25 March in the Church we solemnly celebrate the Annunciation, the mystery of the Incarnation begins. The Archangel Gabriel visits a humble girl in Nazareth and proclaims to her that she will conceive and bear the Son of God. With this Annunciation the Lord illuminates and strengthens Mary’s faith, as He will also do for her spouse Joseph, so that Jesus could be born into a human family. This is very beautiful: it shows us how deeply the mystery of the Incarnation, as God desired, encompasses not only conception in the mother’s womb, but also acceptance in a real family. Today I would like to contemplate with you the beauty of this bond, the beauty of God’s condescension; and we can do this by reciting the Hail Mary together, the first part of which takes up the words of the Angel, those he addressed to the Virgin. I invite you to pray together:

"Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen."

And now a second aspect: on 25 March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, in many countries the Day for Life is celebrated. That is why, 20 years ago, St John Paul II on this day signed the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae. In order to commemorate this anniversary there are many followers of the Pro-Life Movement present in the Square today. In Evangelium Vitae, the family occupies a central place, as it is the womb of human life. The word of my venerable Predecessor reminds us that a human couple was blessed from the beginning to form a community of love and life, entrusted with the mission to generate life. Christian spouses, celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage, make themselves open to honour this blessing, with the grace of Christ, for their whole lives. The Church, for her part, is solemnly committed to care for the family that is born, as a gift of God for her life, in good times and in bad: the bond between the Church and the family is sacred and inviolable. The Church, as a mother, never abandons the family, even when it is downhearted, wounded and humiliated in so many ways. Neither when it falls into sin nor moves away from the Church; she will always do everything to try to care for and heal it, to call it to conversion and to reconcile it to the Lord.

If this then is the task, it is clear how much prayer the Church needs in order to be able, in every age, to carry out this mission! Prayer full of love for the family and for life. Prayer that can rejoice with the rejoicing and suffer with the suffering.

Here then is what I, together with my co-workers, have thought to offer today: renewal of prayer for the Synod of Bishops on the Family. We relaunch this commitment until this coming October, when the Ordinary Synodal Assembly dedicated to the family will take place. I would like this prayer, as the whole journey of the Synod, to be animated by the compassion of the Good Shepherd for his flock, especially for people and families who, for different reasons, are “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36). Thus, sustained and animated by the grace of God, the Church can be ever more committed, and ever more united, in the witness of the truth of the love of God and of his mercy for the world’s families, none excluded, both within the fold and without.

I ask you, please do not fail to pray. Everyone — the pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, men and women religious, lay faithful — we are all called to pray for the Synod. This is what is needed, not gossip! I also call to prayer those who feel distant or who are no longer used to it. This prayer for the Synod on the Family is for the good of everyone. I know that this morning you were given a holy card, which you are holding in your hands. I invite you to keep it and carry it with you, so that in the coming months you can recite it often, with holy persistence, as Jesus asked us to. Now let us recite it together:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too may be
places of communion and cenacles of prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience
violence, rejection and division:
May all who have been hurt or scandalized
know ready consolation and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
awaken in us all an awareness
of the sacred and inviolable character of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer. Amen."



Greetings:
"J’accueille avec plaisir les pèlerins francophones, en particulier les jeunes venus nombreux, et le groupe du Secours catholique de Marseille.
Le temps du Carême est un temps favorable pour « devenir comme des enfants », parce que « le royaume de Dieu est à ceux qui leur ressemblent ». Que Dieu vous y aide et vous bénisse !

[Sono lieto di accogliere i pellegrini di lingua francese, in particolare i numerosi giovani e il gruppo del Soccorso cattolico di Marsiglia.
La Quaresima è un tempo favorevole per «diventare come bambini», perché «il regno di Dio è per coloro che assomigliano a loro». Che Dio vi aiuti in questo e vi benedica.]

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Philippines, Canada and the United States of America.  Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord Jesus.  God bless you all!

[Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Gran Bretagna, Danimarca, Norvegia, Svezia, Filippine, Canada e Stati Uniti d’America.  Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie, invoco la gioia e la pace nel Signore Gesù.  Dio vi benedica!]

Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger deutscher Sprache und die verschiedenen Schulgruppen, besonders an die Christian-Hülsmeyer-Schule aus Barnstorf. Ich grüße auch die lieben Pilger aus Boppard. Ich wünsche euch einen guten Aufenthalt in Rom, der Stadt, wo viele Heilige gelebt haben. Die Heiligen sind Glaubensvorbilder, die nachzuahmen sind. Ich wünsche euch alles Gute. Gott segne euch.

[Rivolgo un cordiale saluto ai pellegrini di lingua tedesca e ai diversi gruppi scolastici, in particolare la Christian-Hülsmeyer-Schule di Barnstorf. Saluto anche i cari pellegrini di Boppard. Vi auguro una buona permanenza a Roma, la città dove hanno vissuto molti santi. I santi sono modelli di fede da imitare! Vi auguro ogni bene. Dio vi benedica.]

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los venidos de España, México, Perú, Argentina, Uruguay. Hermanos y hermanas, los niños dan vida, alegría, esperanza. Dan también preocupaciones y a veces dan problemas, pero es mejor así que una sociedad triste y gris porque se ha quedado sin niños, o no quieren a los niños. Pidamos que Jesús los bendiga y la Virgen los cuide. Muchas gracias.

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua spagnola, in particolare quelli provenienti da Spagna, Messico, Perú, Argentina, Uruguay. Fratelli e sorelle, i figli danno vita, allegria, speranza. Danno anche preoccupazioni e, a volte danno problemi, ma è meglio così che una società triste e grigia, perché è rimasta senza figli, o non vuole figli. Pregate che Gesù li benedica e la Vergine li guidi. Grazie mille.]

Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, sede bem-vindos! A todos vos saúdo, com menção particular dos grupos paroquiais de Santa Rita e de São Vicente, desejando que possais viver e crescer na amizade com Deus Pai, deixando que o seu amor sempre vos regenere como filhos e vos reconcilie com Ele e com os irmãos. Desça, sobre vós e vossas famílias, a abundância das suas bênçãos.

[Carissimi pellegrini di lingua portoghese, benvenuti! Nel salutarvi tutti, in particolare i gruppi parrocchiali di Santa Rita e di São Vicente, vi auguro di vivere e crescere nell’amicizia con Dio Padre, lasciando che il suo amore sempre vi rigeneri come figli e vi riconcili con Lui e con i fratelli. Scenda su di voi e sulle vostre famiglie l’abbondanza delle sue benedizioni.]

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشّرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، الأطفال هم غنى للبشريّة والكنيسة، لنتعلّم منهم الحنان والثقة العفويّة بالله. ليبارككُم الرب!

[Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua araba, in particolare a quelli provenienti dal Medio Oriente! Cari fratelli e sorelle, i bambini sono una ricchezza per l’umanità e per la chiesa, impariamo da loro la tenerezza e la spontanea fiducia in Dio! Il Signore vi benedica!]

Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, zastanawiając się nad rolą dzieci w społeczeństwie, uświadamiamy sobie, że dzieci przynoszą ze sobą życie, radość, nadzieję. Z pewnością przynoszą również troski a czasami problemy. Ale lepsze jest społeczeństwo z tymi troskami i problemami, niż społeczeństwo smutne i szare bez dzieci! Módlmy się, aby każde dziecko było przyjmowane z miłością i z wdzięcznością wobec Boga dawcy życia. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini polacchi. Cari fratelli e sorelle, riflettendo sul ruolo dei bambini nella società, ci rendiamo conto che i bambini portano vita, allegria e speranza. Certamente portano anche preoccupazioni e a volte problemi; ma è meglio una società con queste preoccupazioni e questi problemi, che una società triste e grigia perché è rimasta senza bambini! Preghiamo perché ogni bambino sia accolto con amore e con gratitudine verso Dio datore della vita. Sia lodato Gesù Cristo!]

 

* * *

Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai fedeli di lingua italiana. Sono lieto di accogliere le Suore Passioniste di San Paolo della Croce, nel secondo centenario della Fondazione, la delegazione della fiaccola benedettina “pro pace et Europa una”, con l’Arcivescovo di Spoleto-Norcia, Mons. Renato Boccardo e i fedeli di Vercelli accompagnati dall’Arcivescovo Mons. Marco Arnolfo: vi invito ad essere convinti diffusori della misericordia di Dio, supremo garante della giustizia e della pace. Saluto i membri della Polizia di Stato delle province di Ascoli Piceno, Fermo e Macerata; i medici dell’Associazione “Sorridi Konou Africa” e gli studenti, in particolare quelli dell’Istituto Comprensivo Ciampoli-Spaventa di Atessa. A tutti auguro che la visita alla Città Eterna diventi un’occasione di riscoperta della fede e di crescita nella carità.

Un pensiero speciale rivolgo ai giovani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli. Domani celebreremo la Solennità di San Giuseppe, Patrono della Chiesa Universale. Cari giovani, guardate a lui come esempio di vita umile e discreta; cari ammalati, portate la croce con l’atteggiamento del silenzio e dell’orazione del padre putativo di Gesù; e voi, cari sposi novelli, costruite la vostra famiglia sullo stesso amore che legò Giuseppe alla Vergine Maria."

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