Families urged to forgive

Pope Francis encourages family unity and the power of forgiveness.

On the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Family, Pope Francis introspected on the power forgiveness imparts in families. He also compared the family life of everyday to a continuing pilgrimage of love and prayer. He stressed on the importance of family members journeying unitedly towards a common goal. He compared life to a road speckled with difficulties, but there are also moments of consolation and joy.

The Pope urged everyone not to lose confidence in the family structure. He said that there is something beautiful about opening hearts to each other and also hiding nothing from our loved ones. If love exists, forgiveness and understanding will also be present.  He said that any pilgrimage is not ended by simply arriving at the destination, but only when the pilgrims return home and restart their everyday lives. They put into actual practice the spiritual fruits gained from the experience. Pope Francis linked the Feast of the Holy Family with Year of Mercy held by the Catholic Church.

The Pope went on to add that every Christian family during the Year of Mercy could be a privileged place to experience the joy which could only be obtained from forgiveness. He said that forgiveness can be described as a love essence that understand the mistakes and also mend them. He added that the humankind would be miserable if we were not forgiven by God. Only within the family framework we understand the technique to forgive, as we know that we will be understood and also supported, independent of mistakes made.

The Pope gave his encouragement to the St. Peter's Square congregation to share the moments during family prayer. He asked the congregation the question of if anything could be more beautiful than a parent to bless the children at the start and end of every day. Nothing could be more joyous than the tracing of cross sign on the little foreheads as it was done the day they were baptized. He termed it the simplest prayer a parent can provide the children.

Pope Francis said that it is vital for a family to pray before meals so that they can thank the Almighty for these gifts. The children will also learn the need for sharing the received with people who need them much more than they do. These are small gestures, but they make an excellent formative aspect of the family in the path of everyday life. 

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