The 263-page document is a daunting read for anyone. So Youth Speak News has broken down Pope Francis’ message and highlights the message aimed at young people.
Symptoms of a temporary culture
39. The consultation that took place prior to the last two Synods pointed to the various symptoms of a culture of the ephemeral. Here I think, for example, of the speed with which people move from one affective relationship to another... We treat affective relationships the way we treat material objects and the environment: everything is disposable; everyone uses and throws away, takes and breaks, exploits and squeezes to the last drop. Then, goodbye. Narcissism makes people incapable of looking beyond themselves, beyond their own desires and needs.
40. We need to find the right language, arguments and forms of witness that can help us reach the hearts of young people, appealing to their capacity for generosity, commitment, love and even heroism, and in this way inviting them to take up the challenge of marriage with enthusiasm and courage.
True love and happiness
219. Young love needs to keep dancing towards the future with immense hope. Hope is the leaven that, in those first years of engagement and marriage, makes it possible to look beyond arguments, conflicts and problems and to see things in a broader perspective. It harnesses our uncertainties and concerns so that growth can take place. Hope also bids us to live fully in the present, giving our all to the life of the family, for the best way to prepare a solid future is to live well in the present.
307. Young people who are baptized should be encouraged to understand that the Sacrament of Marriage can enrich their prospects of love and that they can be sustained by the grace of Christ in the sacrament and by the possibility of participating fully in the kind of relativism, or an undue reticence in proposing that ideal, would be a lack of fidelity to the Gospel and also of love on the part of the Church for young people themselves.
On healthy relationships
136. Men and women, young people and adults, communicate differently. They speak different languages and they act in different ways. Our way of asking and responding to questions, the tone we use, our timing and any number of other factors condition how well we communicate. We need to develop certain attitudes that express love and encourage authentic dialogue.
140. Show affection and concern for the other person. Love surmounts even the worst barriers... Fearing the other person as a kind of “rival” is a sign of weakness and needs to be overcome. It is very important to base one’s position on solid choices, beliefs or values, and not on the need to win an argument or to be proved right.
Nurturing faith in the family
289. The work of handing on the faith to children, in the sense of facilitating its expression and growth, helps the whole family in its evangelizing mission. It naturally begins to spread the faith to all around them, even outside of the family circle. Children who grew up in missionary families often become missionaries themselves; growing up in warm and friendly families, they learn to relate to the world in this way, without giving up their faith or their convictions.
Honouring our parents
175. A mother who watches over her child with tenderness and compassion helps him or her to grow in confidence and to experience that the world is a good and welcoming place... A father possessed of a clear and serene masculine identity who demonstrates affection and concern for his wife is just as necessary as a caring mother. There can be a certain flexibility of roles and responsibilities, depending on the concrete circumstances of each particular family. But the clear and well-defined presence of both figures, female and male, creates the environment best suited to the growth of the child.
189. Hence, “the fourth commandment asks children… to honour their father and mother" (cf. Ex 20:12)...The virtuous bond between generations is the guarantee of the future, and is the guarantee of a truly humane society. A society with children who do not honour parents is a society without honour… It is a society destined to be filled with surly and greedy young people.
Appreciating our grandparents
193. Listening to the elderly tell their stories is good for children and young people; it makes them feel connected to the living history of their families, their neighbourhoods and their country. A family that fails to respect and cherish its grandparents, who are its living memory, is already in decline, whereas a family that remembers has a future.
Growing with our siblings
194. Relationships between brothers and sisters deepen with the passing of time, and the bond of fraternity that forms in the family between children, if consolidated by an educational atmosphere of openness to others, is a great school of freedom and peace... From this initial experience of fraternity, nourished by affection and education at home, the style of fraternity radiates like a promise upon the whole of society.
The larger family
196. In addition to the small circle of the couple and their children, there is the larger family, which cannot be overlooked... Friends and other families are part of this larger family, as well as communities of families who support one another in their difficulties, their social commitments and their faith.
Mercy and understanding in the church
308. I understand those who prefer a more rigourous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion. But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.