The Lord be praised for the gift of our Papa and the wisdom that has been given to him. As the head of the faith we profess, he advises us on the path of perfection Jesus showed. As a pastor he reminds us that our God is a god of love, mercy and compassion. Like the Prodigal’s father, his love is unconditional, and He embraces us despite the choices we make and the paths we decide to take.
The Holy Father’s Exhortation on the family is grounded on wisdom and experience formed among the realities and lives of real people in a real world. He teaches as one chosen for our difficult time, having empathy for our real problems. He dresses the reality of Jesus’ teachings and the parables in the customs and thinking of the twenty-first century. The hard rules written in stone are being restored with hearts of flesh and blood. The Pharisees of Jesus’ time were good people, but were too focused on the law. Jesus came to liberated us from that slavery of custom and ritual, re-establishing us as children of God. Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” and his current exhortation form a blue print to spiritual reunion, as individuals, and as people of God.
Amoris-Laetitia begins with laying the spiritual foundations firmly in the scriptures. And, in the subsequent chapters goes on to mirror them in the realities of today. It addresses the guilt and quandary of many found at odds with traditional teachings and the hardline implementation by pastoral practices blunted by a Pharisees-like dedication to the law. Advice is judgement-free there are no good guys or bad guys, there are only children of God. In the Year of Mercy, it reaches out in love: asking true believers “to come as they are”. Conscience, therefore, must be revised and transformed by the emerging spiritual consciousness of our time.