Pope Francis this evening met with thousands of families in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, relaxed and laughing with them as he exhorted them to make the sacrifices required of true love.
The Pope admitted that love isn’t easy. It isn’t easy, he said, leaving aside his text briefly. But it is the most beautiful thing that a man and woman can give each other.
The Holy Father responded to the testimonies of various people and families, reserving special praise and a delighted smile for an elderly couple that had been married for 50 years.
It’s a lie to say that in a family, there are never arguments, the Pontiff said, bringing the crowds to laugh when he repeated as he has on other occasions that it’s ok that occasionally “the plates fly.”
But a couple shouldn’t end the day without making peace, he added, because they then run the risk of beginning the next day still at war, but now a cold war, which he said is very dangerous because it undermines the relationship from the foundations.
Instead he praised the “wrinkles of conjugal fidelity.”
The Pope also spoke of the necessity of beginning again and being ready to make the necessary sacrifices.
“I prefer a family that again and again tries to begin again, to a family and a society that is narcissistic and obsessed with luxury and comfort,” he said. “I prefer a family with a tired face from sacrifices made rather than a pretty one which is unfamiliar with tenderness and compassion.”
In one of the most moving moments of the encounter, Pope Francis came down the several steps from the stage to a child who was being lifted, wheelchair and all, to the level of the stage. The guards lifted the wheelchair up onto the stage so that the Holy Father could bless and embrace the child.