Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fidelity Cannot Be Bought and Sold

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Vatican City, October 21, 2015 (

Blogger: Consider the centrality of matrimony for the very humanity of society: Karol Wojtyla: "Betrothed love differs from all the aspects and forms of love analysed hitherto. Its decisive character is the giving of one's own person to another. The essence of betrothed love is self-giving, the surrender of one's 'I.' This is something different from and more than attraction desire or even goodwill. These are all ways by which one person goes out towards another, but none of them can take him as far in his quest for the good of the other as does betrothed love. '

To give oneself to another is something more than merely 'desiring what is good' for another - even if as a result of this another 'I' becomes as it were my own, as it does in friendship. Betrothed love is something different from and more than all the forms of love so far analysed, both as it affects the individuial subject, the person who loves, and as regards the interpersonal union which it creates. When betrothed love enters into this interpersonal relationship something more than friendship results: two people give themselves each to the other" [K. Wojtyla, "Love and Responsibility" Farr ar  Straus Giroux (1981) 96].

Pope Francis says fidelity to promises is a masterpiece of humanity.

The Holy Father expressed this during his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, as he continued his catechesis on the family. Last week, Francis spoke about the promises parents make their children when they bring them into the world, and this week, he reflected on the promise of love and fidelity made between husbands and wives, which, he said, is the basis of all family life.
In his address, the Pope stressed that “one cannot buy and sell” fidelity to a promise, adding, “It is necessary to restore social honor to the fidelity of love.”

Highlighting how the family is founded on promise, he said, “A family that closes in on itself is the death of the promise that gave it birth,” for the identity of a family is a promise that expands all humanity.

The Argentine Pope admitted that nowadays this promise is at times called into question, and seen as somehow opposed to personal freedom.

The truth, however, he underscored, is that our freedom is shaped and sustained by our fidelity to the choices and commitments we make throughout life.  In our daily efforts to keep our word, he told those gathered, our fidelity grows.

“Fidelity to promises is a masterpiece of humanity,” the Pontiff underscored, noting it is a supreme expression of our dignity as human beings. "If we look at its daring beauty, we are frightened, but if we scorn its courageous tenacity, we are lost."

“There is no greater ‘school’ to teach us such fidelity than marriage and the family, which are, in God’s plan, a blessing for our world,” he said.

Recalling Saint Paul, the Pope noted that he tells us that the love which grounds the family points to the bond of love between Christ and the Church.

The Pontiff also reminded those gathered of the Synod of Bishops on the family taking place in the Vatican on the theme, “The Mission and Vocation of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World,” which is in its third week and concludes Sunday. In these days of the Synod on the Family, the Holy Father called on the faithful in the Square to join him in praying that the Church will uphold and strengthen the promise of the family.

“Let us pray for the synod fathers,” the Pope also said, “that the Lord blesses their work, performed with creative fidelity.”

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