“Amoris Laetitia”: The Joy of Love
On April 8, 2016, Pope Francis released an widely anticipated apostolic exhortation entitled “Amoris Laetitia,” or, The Joy of Love. In this 325-paragraph document, the Holy Father provides his prayerful reflections on marriage and the family: their strengths and weaknesses, their call from God and the challenges they face. This document is a “post-synodal” exhortation, meaning that it was released after two synods held in Rome on the topic of marriage and the family, in 2014 and 2015.
Pope Francis recommends that “Amoris Laetitia” be read “patiently and carefully” (no. 7). Of the nine chapters, some may be more pertinent to marriages and families themselves, and others to those who care for them, such as priests and lay pastoral leaders.
Visitors to For Your Marriage may be drawn to chapters four, five, and seven in particular. In chapter four, Pope Francis provides a verse-by-verse reflection on St. Paul’s beautiful hymn to love found in 1 Corinthians 13, the well-known wedding reading: “Love is patient, love is kind…”. There is ample practical advice here for married couples and families in living out their call to communion. In chapter five, “Love Made Fruitful,” the pope emphasizes the family’s fundamental call to be fruitful – and this is whether or not the marriage is blessed with children. And chapter seven provides wise advice for parents as they seek to fulfill their calling of educating their children in the faith.
Copies of “Amoris Laetitia” are available for purchase from USCCB Publishing, here.
FAQs about “Amoris Laetitia” and select bishops’ statements about it are available on the USCCB website here.