He said that we live in “a culture of the ephemeral,” or the culture of the temporary. No one knows that better than our generation. In an online culture where all our social interactions are measured by followers, views and likes, it’s hard not to fall into self-centredness.
The Pope said this self-centredness leaves people “incapable of looking beyond themselves.” There is a danger of treating everything as disposable, like material objects, the environment and our relationships with each other.
How our culture defines those true love and happiness is a minefield for those of us who are just learning to go deeper into their faith. With all the controversy over gender issues, sexual abuse issues, euthanasia and many other things that we are worried about, we are encouraged by Pope Francis’ message of mercy and understanding.
We want to be a part of a Church that welcomes the weak, the isolated and the marginalized, instead of being a Church the world accuses of shunning the weak and isolating the marginalized. We want to be a part of a Church that looks at these issues and sees the human beings.
Family is especially crucial because it defines us. We know who we are by looking at our families. In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis asks us to reflect on how to keep those relationships healthy and loving.
Within the family, he says that children (or youth) who grew up in missionary families become missionaries themselves. The Pope encourages us not only to honour our parents, but also our grandparents. With our siblings, he urges us to strengthen that “bond of fraternity” because how we treat our biological brothers and sisters will inform how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ.
With our friends and our “more than friends,” Amoris Laetitia had something to say about that, too.
Again, his hope for us is obvious when he talks about how “young love needs to keep dancing towards the future with immense hope.” He challenges us to be courageous enough to aim higher than just surface-level attraction. He wants us to aim for our future.
We think that the Pope’s message in Amoris Laetitia is about being other-centred, rather than being self-centred. Instead of putting our own desires first, we should be desiring and hoping for the best in others.
Editor’s note: This week, the Youth Speak News team decided to get together to share their thoughts on Pope Francis’ post-Synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). With university students in the middle of their final exams and high school students taking on more work in the second half of the semester, we can’t imagine our peers having any time to read through 261 pages of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). But, we do think the message is crystal clear.