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Pope Francis on the Sixth Commandment: 'Do Not Commit Adultery'

The Call to Full and Faithful Spousal Love, Revealed and Given by Christ

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“Do not commit adultery” – the Sixth Word of the Decalogue – is explicitly about marital fidelity, but there is more, Pope Francis explained October 31, 2018, during his General Audience address in St. Peter’s Square.
«The faithful love of Christ is light to live the beauty of human affectivity,» The Holy Father explained. «In fact, our affective dimension is a call to love, which is manifested in fidelity, in hospitality, and in mercy. This is very important. How does love manifest itself? In fidelity, in hospitality, and in mercy.»
The Pope cited 5:31-32 from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[a] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

This passage is revolutionary, the Pope explained. In the context of those times, it was revolutionary to say that a «husband must love his wife as Christ loves the Church.»
This is a command not only to married couples but to everyone, the Pope continued. The command of fidelity is addressed to all.
«Let us recall that the way of human maturation is the course of love itself, which goes from receiving care to the capacity of offering care, from receiving life to the capacity of giving life,» Francis said. «To become adult men and women means to be able to live the spousal and parental attitude, which manifests itself in the various situations of life, such as the capacity to take on oneself the burden of another and to love him without ambiguity. Therefore, it’s a global attitude of the person that is able to assume the reality and is able to enter into a profound relationship with others.»
The Holy Father explained that the adulterer is immature and lives life for himself.  Marriage requires a change in thinking from «I» to «We».
«When we succeed in de-centering ourselves, then every act is spousal: we work, we talk, we decide, we encounter others with a welcoming and oblative attitude,» Francis said. «In this sense, every Christian vocation — now we can extend the perspective somewhat, and say that every Christian vocation is, in this sense, spousal.
«I repeat: every Christian vocation is spousal because it is a fruit of the bond of love in which we are all regenerated, the bond of love with Christ, as the passage of Saint Paul, read at the beginning, reminds us. From its fidelity, from its tenderness, from is generosity we look with faith at marriage and at every vocation, and we understand the full meaning of sexuality.»

The Holy Father’s Full Address

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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