Pope Francis appeared before a joyous gathering of 40,000 in Philadelphia and bore amazing witness for Jesus Christ and God. The stage was full of first class musical talent but more importantly families bearing witness to the power of God in their lives. They called for help from Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in helping them to found their family or live as families. The Pope reminded the world of the primary reason he came to America. He echoed what he told the American bishops earlier in the week: “I appreciate the unfailing commitment of the Church in America to the cause of life and that of the family, which is the primary reason for my present visit.”
The night included an engaged Catholic Couple embracing chastity. A child with cerebral palsy who shows the many gifts he brings to all. A family in Jordan caring for refugees from ISIS. A large extended family from New York who have stayed married for decades and produced many children. These families illustrated the points the Pope was about to make.
He told the story of the creation of the world and before creation: “Before Creating the World, God Loved, because God is Love!”. He told the story of the creation of the first family and how, “Men and women through the astuteness of the devil have learned how to divide themselves. Know that the love that God gave almost was lost! “
He then described the story of Cane and Abel and then the evils of war on earth. He challenged: “It is up to us to choose to decide which path we want to take forward” Pope Francis reminded us that God did not give up and gave us, through His unending love, His Son!
“When the man and his wife made the mistake, God did not abandon them. So great was His love that he began to walk with humanity, with his people until the right moment and he made the highest expression of love: His own Son! And did He send Him to a palace? NO! He sent Him to a family! He could do this because it was a family that had a truly open heart!”
The Holy Father challenged Americans to keep the family at the center of society. And to remember the blessings on society that comes from the most important unit it contains: the Family.
“The Most Beautiful thing that God did was the Family. He Created woman and he gave them everything! That they may grow, multiple, cultivate the land. All that love he made in creation he gave it and shared it and bestowed it on the family!”
He addressed the everyday stresses and brought humor to the crowd:
“You may say, Father you speak like that because you are not married! Families have their difficulties. Families have their quarrels and sometimes plates can fly. And sometimes children have their headaches!…Yes, Children – yes they bring their challenges.”
Pope Francis reminded us of how to deal with the daily challenges in families: “Only love is able to overcome challenges. Love is celebration. Love is joy, love is moving forward.”
He closed by offering an admonition to protect the most vulnerable: Children and Grandparents. He pointed out that they may be vulnerable, but they are at the same time the most critical part of a family and a society!
“Take special care of the children and the grandparents! The children are the future and strength that moves us forward. We place our hope in them. Grandparents are the living memory of the family. They pass on their faith. They transmitted the faith to us. To look after grandparents and children is the expression of love. It promises the future, the people that do not know how to look after their children or their grandparents have no future. Because they won’t have the strength or the memory to go forward.”
He offered simple, basic but powerful advice on helping families go forward in live together.
“The Family is beautiful, but there are problems. In families there are inimical relationships. Husbands and wives quarrel and can end up separated. Never let the day end without making peace! In a family, you can’t finish the day off not being at peace”.
“May God Bless you, may God give you hope. May God give you strength to move forward. Let us protect the family because it is in the family is that our future is in play.”
This is an American society that has rejected life. A society that kills a million babies a year in the womb. A society that promotes contraception to prevent babies from being created – attempting to cheat God himself! A Society that seeks to redefine marriage itself in ways that are inspired by the devil. A society that extolls and glorifies every kind of sexual deviancy imaginable. A Society that seeks to end the lives of the elderly and the sick when they become to “costly” or their care is deemed “futile” or their lives of “no value”. In short, America has become a society where individuals seek to place themselves above God, but only place themselves in the service of Satan.
Pope Francis showed us the pathway to redemption through the family. He inspires us to embrace life and repent from our wicked ways. He shows us that in Christ there is redemption, in God there is grace, love and abundant mercy and the Holy Spirit can move us to greatness as individuals and as families. Americans are called to embrace life and reject the many sins infecting America and killing it now. We must embrace a future that moves us forward in strength and faith. If society embraces this very Catholic view of life and the family, we will have a future that will make God proud.