REFLECTIONS ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF THE FAMILY AND OF MARRIAGE
by Ludmila Grygiel
[…] Chesterton said that we do not want a Church that will move with the world, but a Church that will move the world. Paraphrasing his words, we could say that families today, those in crisis and those that are happy, do not need pastoral care suited for the world, but pastoral care suited for He who knows what the heart of man desires.
I see the evangelical paradigm of this pastoral care in the dialogue of Jesus with the Samaritan woman, from which emerge all the elements that characterize the current situation of difficulties both of spouses and of priests involved in pastoral care.
In this way the Gospel passage recalls that God does not make a gift of his mercy to one who does not ask for it, and that recognition of sin and the desire for conversion are the rule of mercy. Mercy is never a gift offered to someone who does not want it, it is not a product on sale because it is not in demand. Pastoral care requires a profound and convinced adherence of pastors to the truth of the sacrament.
In the private diary of John Paul II, we find this note written in 1981, the third year of his pontificate: “Lack of confidence in the family is the first cause of the crisis of the family.”
“THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY PASSES BY WAY OF THE FAMILY”
(Familiaris Consortio, 86)
by Stanislaw Grygiel
[…] Ignoring the love “forever” of which Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman as the “gift of God” (Jn 4:7-10) makes spouses and families, and with them societies, lose “the right way” and go astray “in a dark forest,” as in the Inferno of Dante, according to the indications of a hardened heart, “sklerocardia” (Mt 19:8).
A “merciful” indulgence, requested by some theologians, is not capable of stopping the advancement of the hardness of hearts that do not remember how things are “from the beginning.” The Marxist assumption according to which philosophy must change the world rather than contemplating it has made inroads into the thinking of certain theologians such that these, more or less deliberately, instead of looking at man and the world in the light of the eternal Word of the living God, look at this Word from the perspective of ephemeral sociological tendencies. As a result they justify the actions of “hard hearts” according to the circumstances, and speak of the mercy of God as if this were a matter of tolerance tinged with commiseration.
Wow. I am practically in a swoon this is so wonderful and powerful.