23 August 2018
Dublin: Maria and Gianni Salerno

The “Key” Word is “Recommence”

“We can witness the beauty of many families in the world who, despite the storms of everyday life, experience the joy of educating and the grace of the presence of Jesus in the family”

On the second day of the Pastoral Theological Congress dedicated to chapter 4 (“Love in Marriage”) and chapter 6 (“Some Pastoral Perspectives”) of Amoris Laetitia, the married couple Maria and Gianni Salerno, heads of the Focolare Movement’s New Families, offered their testimony on the joys and challenges of parents today, starting from the moment when they realize that they are expecting a child: “From the beginning, we fathers and mothers can be conscious that, being God’s icon, we have the great chance of to becoming His channels to our children. We have the task of accompanying them, but we must respect their freedom by helping them to discover the plan that God has for their happiness.” In the ordinary life of Christian families, the “key” word is “recommence”: “We have had to apologize to our children so many times for exaggerated reactions, and, through this, they too have learned to apologize.” Moreover, “sometimes conflicts arise. It is important for parents to be able to put themselves in the place of their child, as it were, to “walk in his shoes,” to get into what he is experiencing. We must be sensitive to their emotions, fears, and difficulties before giving them answers, by practicing deep listening that is able to fully welcome the other.” Are such exemplary families really rare? No, “we can witness to the beauty of many families around the world who, despite the storms of everyday life, experience the joy of educating and the grace of the presence of Jesus, alive in the family.”