Pope Francis during the Wednesday General audience (Archive)


Pope Francis Gives Three Ingredients for Family Living

During General Audience, Reminds Faithful That Even If Plates Are Flying, Don’t Finish Day Without Making Peace

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Pope Francis has given families some practical advice during this morning’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.

Continuing with his catecheses on the family, the Holy Father reminded the faithful of three words that «must be in the home»: «May I, Thank You, Pardon Me [permesso, grazie, scusa].»

For happy family life, the Pontiff said, these phrases are required in our hearts, homes and communities, and mean more than just having good manners.

Speaking on asking ‘May I?,’ the Pontiff said we should not just assume we have the right to certain things. When we ask this permission, he said we establish trust and respect among our loved ones. 

Proving his point, Francis recalled the words of Jesus in the book of Revelation: «Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me «(3:20).

«Even the Lord asks permission to enter! Do not forget that.»

On saying ‘Thank you,’ the Pontiff said our society has a great need for gratitude, which makes us more sensitive to the dignity of the human person and the demands of social justice.

«Listen well to this: a Christian that doesn’t know how to thank is one that has forgotten the language of God. This is ugly.»

‘Pardon me,’ the Pope acknowledged is the hardest of the three to say, yet he noted that when it’s not used many bad things happen, especially in marriage. He asked those gathered to ponder how we can be pardoned if we are not willing to forgive.
«Many emotional wounds, many lacerations in families begin with the lost of this precious word: pardon. In marital life there are often quarrels, “plates” also “fly,” but I give this advice: do not end the day without making peace. Listen well. Husband and wife, have you quarreled? — Children with parents? Did you quarrel intensely?
«It’s not right, but it isn’t the problem,» Francis said. «The problem is that this sentiment must not be there the next day.»
«Never finish the day without making peace,» even if it’s not easy, the Pope said. «A little gesture, a  caress, without words,» he pointed out, can be enough, for it «stops the infection.»
The Holy Father invited all those gathered to repeat the three Italian words: ‘permesso  grazie, scusa.’
After underscoring these «are truly the words for entering into the love of the family,» Francis called on them to say, «Never finish the day without making peace.» 
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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