My dear couples,
Our Movement is committed to moving forward in keeping with the rhythm of the Church and its Synod. The Church is seeking, in the light of the Gospel, “to discern the ways in which the Church and society can renew their commitment to the family founded upon the marriage between a man and a woman.” From where I am writing, I contemplate all of you, dispersed in the four corners of the world, in various cultural contexts, but all united in the desire to correspond to the thought of God, who is manifest in the concerns of the Church’s synod.
In his address to the participants at the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities on November 22nd, Pope Francis offered three suggestions for their journey of faith and ecclesial life:
- First, “preserve the freshness of your charism always renewing the ‘first love.’”
- Second, respect “the way of welcoming and accompanying men and women of today, in particular, the youth, because every person has their own time, their own path, and we must accompany this journey.”
- Third, strive for “communion. (…) For the world to believe that Jesus is Lord, it needs to see communion among Christians.” Be in communion too with the Magisterium of the Church and in particular with the Holy Father.
These are three points that interest us and more particularly interest our Movement: faith to the first love; welcome and help in the decisions that each person must make; maintaining communion with the Church and above with the Holy Father, who has the supreme responsibility for the universal service of charity. With respect to our Movement and taking in to consideration Pope Francis’ first recommendation, I have insisted, since the beginning of my service, on two Endeavours that belong to our spiritual method: the Sit-Down and Conjugal Prayer.
The Sit-Down, thanks to the Lord’s presence, allows the couple, like Mary who listened to him, to share their thoughts on their life and to enlighten it with the Gospel’s light, and thereby fortifying even more their union in the Lord. In Conjugal Prayer, I advise you to say the rosary to Our Lady. Thanks to this simple prayer, which leads directly to the heart, you nourish your union in the Lord and you can be faithful to the ‘three altars’ where you celebrate the mystery of love, which is stronger than death:
- the altar of the Eucharist where you take the Body of the Lord, without which we can do nothing (Jn 15:5)
- the nuptial chamber, where according to the Lord’s will, you become one flesh, one heart and one soul, in a chaste and pure love, that is open to the fruitfulness of life through collaboration with God to people the heavens and the earth
- the altar, which is the table around which you get together to eat in joy and simplicity.
Dear couples, please commit to living faithfully and generously these two Endeavours. They allow the cultivation of the union of your hearts and become an effective prophetic sign for the Church and the world today. I ask for abundant graces for you all. May the Lord, through the intercession of the very Holy Virgin Mary, our Mother and protector, bless and keep you forever.
With fraternal friendship,
Father José Jacinto Ferreira de Farias, SCJ
Spiritual Counsellor for the International Leading Team