Last weekend I was away from our Parish as I was focusing on the Catholic Marriage Preparation Course (CMPC) at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre, Kuala Lumpur. I was one of the main presenters for the 27 couples who were preparing themselves for marriage. The weekend’s course was basically to help couples reflect on the significance of marriage and family from the perspective of the Catholic Church’s teachings. It is a great preparatory course and very practical too, in order for couples to understand the ultimate meaning of marriage life and how to relate to one another in relation to the Church, culture, community, family as well as personal relationships.
During the weekend of CMPC, I really took time to complete my reading on the new document on Marriage, which is called in Latin, ‘AMORIS LAETITIA, (The Joy of Love)’. Pope Francis released this great teaching document of the Church on love in the family dated 19 March 2016. It is 214 pages long and I read it in between the sessions and during my break time over the weekend prayerfully and thoughtfully. While reading I sensed my exhilaration, excitement and enthusiasm was greatly heightened.
The ‘Joy of Love’ primarily focuses on pastoral care in line with the Year of Mercy, which covers a wide collection of topics connected with the family and marriage today. The Pope inscribed it with Scripture, the actual situation of families and how to keep firmly grounded in reality. This document is to help us grow towards realising the Church’s teaching on Marriage in our own lives and to help integrate us into the life of the Church. For the priests, the Holy Father stresses the importance of tenderness, compassion, and encouragement when issues facing families, divorce, those civilly remarried, couples who are living together, same sex union and upbringing of children. The clergy are reminded to carefully and prayerfully discern and take care of them with affection and encourage them along the path to conversion and the Gospel without watering down the Church’s teaching on marriage.
Presently, people face painfulness of marriage because they fail to provide love, support and security in the family. Many partners have done much damage and failed to save their marriage and closed the door forever. For couples who are in crisis give your marriage a second chance and put the pieces back together again. Have faith and hope and pray that you will always stick together and I’m sure you can make your marriage better and stronger than it was before.
Married couples can’t be sure of your family life but you need to focus on yourself, and on each other in the family. The Church always invites the individuals to focus on spiritual and moral life.
My dear parishioners, I strongly recommend you to read this document at your own pace. You can purchase it from our parish office.
IN CONJUNCTION WITH HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL
Fr. George Packiasamy.