In his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis used St. Paul’s “hymn to love,” taken from his First Letter to the Corinthians, to offer several pieces of advice on how to keep one’s marriage strong throughout the years, based on true love.
“Love is patient, love is kind.
love is not jealous or boastful;
it is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrong,
but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things” (1 Cor 13:4-7).
“It is helpful to think more deeply about the meaning of this Pauline text and its relevance for the concrete situation of every family,” he explained.
1. Love is patient. For Francis, “being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us.” […] “Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like.”
“We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the center and expect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively,” he warned.
2. Love is at the service of others. The pope underscored that, through his letter, St. Paul “wants to stress that love is more than a mere feeling. Rather, it should be understood along the lines of the Hebrew verb “to love”; it is “to do good.”
“As Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, ‘Love is shown more by deeds than by words.’ It thus …