Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis held his usual Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square. In his catechesis, in which he revisited the theme of the family, he reflected on faithfulness and the promise of love between a man and a woman, on which the family is based, and which implies the promise to welcome and educate children, to care for elderly parents and the weakest members of the family, and to help each other to develop their own qualities and to accept their limitations.
“A family that closes up on itself is a contradiction, a mortification of the promise that brought it to life”, he said. “Never forget that the identity of the family is always a promise that extends and expands to all the family, and also to all humanity. … Love, like friendship, owes its strength and beauty to the fact that it generates a bond without curbing freedom. Love is free, the promise of the family is free, and this is its beauty. Without freedom there is no friendship, without freedom there is no love, without freedom there is no marriage. So, freedom and fidelity are not opposed to each other; on the contrary, they support each other, in terms of both interpersonal and social relationships. Indeed, think of the damage caused, in the civilisation of global communication, by the inflation of promises not kept, in various fields, and the indulgence for infidelity to the word given and to commitments made”.
“Being faithful to promises is a true work of art by humanity”, added Pope Francis. “No relationship of love – no friendship, no form of caring for another person, no joy of the common good – reaches the height of our desire and our hope, if it does not arrive at the point of inhabiting this miracle of the soul. And I use the word 'miracle', because the strength and persuasiveness of fidelity, in spite of everything, can only enchant and surprise us. … No school can teach the truth of love, if the family does not do so. No law can imposed the beauty or legacy of this treasure of human dignity, if the personal bond between love and generation does not inscribe it in our flesh”.
“Our fidelity to our promises is always entrusted to the grace and mercy of God. Love for the human family, in good times and bad, is a point of honour for the Church. May God enable us always to be worthy of this promise”.