01 November 2018
Pope Francis

A journey from “I” to “We”

The Pope’s words during the catechesis on the sixth commandment: “You shall not commit adultery”

Every Christian vocation, like the priesthood and consecrated virginity, is spousal. Pope Francis recalled this yesterday on completing his catechesis on the sixth commandment: You shall not commit adultery”.

The Pope reflected on the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians, defining it as a “revolutionary” text because with the “anthropology of that time”, he affirmed “a husband must love his wife like Christ loves the Church”.

The Pope reminded us that “the faithful love of Christ is the light with which to live the beauty of human affectivity, in fidelity, acceptance and compassion. A commandment, recalls the Pope, that refers “explicitly to marital fidelity”, inducing us to dwell on “its spousal meaning”. An“ invitation to fidelity”, explained Francis, addressed not only to married couples  but to  “everyone”, because it is “a paternal Word of God addressed to every man and woman”.

“To get married” – continued the Pope – “it’s not enough just to celebrate marriage!  We need to make a journey from the ‘I’ to the ‘We’, from thinking alone to thinking in two, from living alone to living in two: it’s a good journey, it’s a beautiful journey. When we succeed in decentering ourselves, then every act is spousal: we work, we talk, we decide, we encounter others with a welcoming and self-sacrificing attitude”.

In this sense, added Francis, “every” Christian vocation is spousal: “The priesthood is such,  because it is the call, in Christ and in the Church, to serve the community with all the love, care and wisdom that the Lord gives.   The Church doesn’t need aspirants to the role of the priest - no, they are of no use, it’s better they stay at home – we need men whose heart the Holy Spirit has touched with a love without reservation for the Bride of Christ”.

Therefore, “starting from its fidelity, tenderness and generosity, we look with faith at marriage and at every vocation and we understand the full meaning of sexuality.  The human creature, in its inseparable unity of spirit and body, and in its masculine and feminine polarity,  is a very good reality, destined to love and to be loved. The human body is not an instrument of pleasure but the place of our call to love and in genuine love there is no room for lust or superficiality.  Men and women  – concluded the Pope – deserve more than this”!