The Joy of Love: The Church as the Guardian of Human Love
by Rev. Professor Gilfredo Marengo, from the
John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (Rome)
For a transcript of Professor Marengo's lecture, click here.
On Saturday, 21st May, Maryvale was delighted to welcome once again, Professor Gilfredo Marengo as the guest speaker for a public lecture on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation. The lecture was entitled, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia) - The Church as the Guardian of Human Love and is now available to listen to as an mp3.
It is as the 'Guardian of Human Love' that we can understand why the Church in her teaching has given so much attention to love in marriage and the family. This has been the case at least since the Second Vatican Council and particularly during the pontificate of St. John Paul II. It is in marriage and the family that we encounter in a privileged manner the 'joy of love’. Despite a social climate that conspires to instil doubts and fears which undermine the goodness of marriage and family, men and women freely seek to undertake this journey of love, one that opens to a future that only unfolds with the passage of time. Each story of love has a unique history. The pastoral approach of the Church, as the 'guardian of human love', is to accompany couples in their unique journey of love. This approach places to the fore the concrete lived experience of married couples and their families.
This concrete lived experience helps us to set aside any romantic, unrealistic notions of love. Love is a wondrous and beautiful experience that changes us and our lives completely. Yet, at the same time, the journey of love also includes the experience of sin in struggles, contradictions and even betrayal. Each can hurt the other. How then is the promise of love - the joy of love - to triumph? It is the realism of mercy that offers the condition by which the promise of love is not betrayed despite our inevitable betrayals. It helps us to pass through the suffering of the Cross in faith. Pope Francis’ insistently points to the Face of Mercy, to Christ crucified and risen. In Him, through grace, the unconditional love of the Father can touch and transfigure every concrete story of love. This then is the call of Pope Francis, "Let us make this journey as families, let us keep walking together. What we have been promised is greater than we can imagine. May we never lose heart because of our limitations, or ever stop seeking that fullness of love and communion which God holds out before us" (AL 325).
Professor Marengo teaches Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome.
To find out more about studying Marriage and the Family at Maryvale, click here or contact Mary Killeen (Course Director: Marriage & Family) through the contact form below: