The Narrow Gate | Word on Fire

To gain eternal life is to participate to the fullest degree possible in the very life of God. It is to walk the path of love, surrendering to grace and allowing this grace to flow through you to the wider world. Is this an easy task? No. The Gospel of Luke tells reminds us that the gate is narrow precisely because it is in the very shape of Jesus Himself, and entrance through the gate involves conformity to his state of being. The path of love is traveled by taking up one’s cross every day.

Source: The Narrow Gate | Word on Fire

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Faith and the Reasoning of the Religious Mind | Word on Fire

God cannot be analyzed scientifically the way one would study the things of the world, but God can be approached through religious reasoning, or Faith. Faith is often criticized as unintelligent tomfoolery. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Catholic tradition reveals that Faith is a rational reaction to God in the religious person. It is the reasoning of the religious mind.

Source: Faith and the Reasoning of the Religious Mind | Word on Fire

Bishop Barron on Pope Francis’ “Amoris Laetitia”

1 Corinthians 13New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Amoris Laetitia

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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an apostolic exhortation?
    An apostolic exhortation is a particular kind of papal teaching that communicates the mind of the pope on a certain topic. It is often used to share the conclusions reached by the Holy Father after consideration of the recommendations of a Synod of Bishops. It can also be used as a way for the pope to exhort (encourage) the faithful to a deeper life of Christian discipleship, as, for example, Pope Francis did in his apostolic exhortationEvangelii Gaudium. . . on the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world (Nov. 24, 2013).
  2. Where did Amoris Laetitia come from?
    Amoris Laetitia
    is the result of Pope Francis’ prayerful reflection on the discussions and outcomes of two synods of bishops held in Rome: an Extraordinary Synod in 2014, and an Ordinary Synod in 2015, both on the topic of marriage and the family. The exhortation is meant to share with the Church the Holy Father’s teaching and encouragement regarding pastoral ministry to families, and what marriages and families are called to at this time in history.
  3. What is the Synod of Bishops?
    The Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution of the Catholic Church. It was established by Pope Paul VI in 1965, shortly after the close of the Second Vatican Council, to continue the spirit of collegiality and communion that was present at the Council. The Synod is an assembly of bishops from around the world who assist the Holy Father by providing counsel on important questions facing the Church in a manner that preserves the Church’s teaching and strengthens her internal discipline. (See the Vatican website and the Code of Canon Law, canon 342.)
  4. What topics does the apostolic exhortation cover?
    Amoris Laetitia covers a wide range of topics related to marriage and family life, with a particular emphasis on the family’s vocation and mission of love. It speaks about the family’s strengths and gifts, and also the contemporary challenges faced by families throughout the world. The exhortation encourages married couples, families, and pastoral ministers to accompany and care for families and others in need of the Lord’s mercy and healing. It includes an extended reflection on love and what it means in the day-to-day reality of marriage and family life.
  5. What does the title mean?
    Amoris Laetitia
    is Latin for “The Joy of Love.” The opening sentence reads, “The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church” (no. 1). The exhortation is meant to echo the conviction of the Synod Fathers that the Christian family is “good news indeed” (no. 1) and to help the Church to draw close to families in all situations.
  6. Who should read this apostolic exhortation?
    This document is for all who care about the future of the family. It is addressed to Bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, Christian married couples and all the lay faithful. In particular, married couples can be reminded of their call and mission through this exhortation, and families can find it an ongoing source of inspiration.
  7. How can the apostolic exhortation be utilized by Catholic leaders?
    Amoris Laetitia
    will be a valuable guide for all those engaged in ministry to those discerning and preparing for marriage and to married couples and families at all stages. Catholic leaders would do well to study Amoris Laetitia in its entirety, being attentive to how the Holy Father’s insights may enrich and enliven a particular ministry. Pope Francis himself has urged a patient and careful reading of the document, with the hope that, “in reading this text, all will feel called to love and cherish family life…” (no. 7).
  8. How has Pope Francis shown a concern for the family in his pontificate?
    Pope Francis has shown his love for marriages and families in many ways. In the first year of his papacy, he called for two consecutive synodal assemblies on the family. He devoted over a year’s worth of weekly audiences to topics related to marriage and the family, and he gave stirring testimony to the beauty of God’s plan for the family during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. He also canonized Pope St. John Paul II, whom he called the “pope of the family.”
  9. What are other key documents from the Church on marriage and the family?
    As Pope Francis shows in chapter three, Amoris Laetitia follows upon a rich treasury of Church teaching on marriage and the family. This apostolic exhortation is a parallel and complement to the 1981 document Familiaris Consortio (“Regarding the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World”), issued by Pope St. John Paul II after the synod on the family in 1980, which has been a touchstone for marriage and family life ministry since its publication. John Paul II gave the Church another document for families in 1994, entitled “Letter to Families,” and his catechesis on human love, commonly called the “theology of the body,” has also deeply enriched the Church’s contemplation on marriage and family life today. All of these works are cited at various points in Amoris Laetitia. Other key documents, also cited, include the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes(On the Church in the Modern World), Bl. Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical LetterHumanae Vitae (On Human Life), and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s encyclicalDeus Caritas Est (On Christian Love).
  10. How can I get a copy of the apostolic exhortation?
    Amoris Laetitia
    is available for purchase through USCCB store. It can also be read in its entirety on the Vatican website http://www.vatican.va.

Preguntas y respuestas

  1. ¿Qué es una exhortación apostólica?
    Una exhortación apostólica es un tipo particular de enseñanza papal que comunica el pensamiento del papa sobre un tema determinado. A menudo se utiliza para compartir las conclusiones a las que llega el Santo Padre después de considerar las recomendaciones de un Sínodo de los Obispos. También se puede utilizar como una manera de que el papa exhorte (aliente) a los fieles a una vida más profunda de discipulado cristiano, tal como, por ejemplo, hizo el papa Francisco en su exhortación apostólica Evangelii gaudium sobre el anuncio del Evangelio en el mundo actual (24 de noviembre de 2013).
  2. ¿De dónde provino Amoris laetitia?
    Amoris laetitia es el resultado de la reflexión orante del papa Francisco sobre los debates y resultados de dos sínodos de obispos celebrados en Roma: un Sínodo Extraordinario en 2014, y un Sínodo Ordinario en 2015, ambos sobre el tema del matrimonio y la familia. La exhortación busca compartir con la Iglesia la enseñanza y el aliento del Santo Padre respecto a la pastoral de las familias, y aquello a lo que los matrimonios y las familias están llamados en este momento de la historia.
  3. ¿Qué es el Sínodo de los Obispos?
    El Sínodo de los Obispos es una institución permanente de la Iglesia Católica. Fue establecido por el papa Pablo VI en 1965, poco después de la clausura del Concilio Vaticano II, para continuar con el espíritu de colegialidad y comunión que estuvo presente en el Concilio. El Sínodo es una asamblea de obispos de todo el mundo que asisten al Santo Padre proporcionando consejo sobre cuestiones importantes que enfrenta la Iglesia de una manera que preserve la enseñanza de la Iglesia y refuerce su disciplina interna. (Véase el sitio web del Vaticano y el Código de Derecho Canónico, canon 342.)
  4. ¿Qué temas cubre la exhortación apostólica?
    Amoris laetitia cubre una amplia gama de temas relacionados con el matrimonio y la vida familiar, con énfasis particular en la vocación y misión de amor de la familia. Habla de las fortalezas y dones de la familia, y también de los desafíos contemporáneos que enfrentan las familias en todo el mundo. La exhortación alienta a las parejas casadas, familias y agentes de pastoral a acompañar y cuidar a las familias y otras personas necesitadas de la misericordia y la curación del Señor. Incluye una extensa reflexión sobre el amor y lo que significa en la realidad cotidiana del matrimonio y la vida familiar.
  5. ¿Qué significa el título?
    Amoris laetitia en latín significa “la alegría del amor”. El párrafo inicial dice: “La alegría del amor que se vive en las familias es también el júbilo de la Iglesia” (no. 1). La exhortación busca hacerse eco de la convicción de los padres sinodales de que la familia cristiana es “una buena noticia” (no. 1) y ayudar a la Iglesia a acercarse a las familias en todas las situaciones.
  6. ¿Quiénes deberían leer esta exhortación apostólica?
    Este documento es para todos los que se preocupan por el futuro de la familia. Va dirigido a los obispos, sacerdotes, diáconos, personas consagradas, parejas casadas cristianas y todos los fieles laicos. En particular, esta exhortación puede recordar a las parejas casadas su llamado y misión, y las familias pueden encontrar en ella una fuente continua de inspiración.
  7. ¿Cómo pueden los líderes católicos utilizar la exhortación apostólica?
    Amoris laetitia será una valiosa guía para todos los que trabajan en la pastoral de los que disciernen y se preparan para el matrimonio y de las parejas casadas y familias en todas las etapas. Los líderes católicos harían bien en estudiar Amoris laetitia en su totalidad, prestando atención a la forma en que las percepciones del Santo Padre pueden enriquecer y animar una pastoral en particular. El propio papa Francisco ha instado a una paciente y cuidadosa lectura del documento, con la esperanza de que “cada uno, a través de la lectura, se sienta llamado a cuidar con amor la vida de las familias…” (no. 7).
  8. ¿Cómo ha mostrado el papa Francisco su preocupación por la familia en su pontificado?
    El papa Francisco ha demostrado su amor por los matrimonios y las familias de muchas maneras. En el primer año de su papado, llamó a dos asambleas sinodales consecutivas sobre la familia. Dedicó más de un año de audiencias semanales a temas relacionados con el matrimonio y la familia, y dio un emotivo testimonio de la belleza del plan de Dios para la familia durante el Encuentro Mundial de las Familias en Filadelfia. También canonizó al papa san Juan Pablo II, a quien llamó el “papa de la familia”.
  9. ¿Qué otros documentos clave de la Iglesia existen sobre el matrimonio y la familia?
    Como muestra el papa Francisco en el capítulo tres, Amoris laetitia es la continuación de un rico tesoro de la enseñanza de la Iglesia sobre el matrimonio y la familia. Esta exhortación apostólica es un paralelo y complemento del documento de 1981 Familiaris consortio (“Sobre la misión de la familia cristiana en el mundo  actual”), promulgado por el papa san Juan Pablo II después del sínodo sobre la familia en 1980, que ha sido una piedra de toque para la pastoral del matrimonio y la vida familiar desde su publicación. Juan Pablo II dio a la Iglesia otro documento para las familias en 1994, titulado “Carta a las familias”, y su catequesis sobre el amor humano, comúnmente llamada la “teología del cuerpo”, también ha enriquecido profundamente la contemplación de la Iglesia sobre el matrimonio y la vida familiar de hoy. Todas estas obras son citadas en varios puntos en Amoris laetitia. Otros documentos clave, también citados, son la constitución pastoral Gaudium et spes (Sobre la Iglesia en el mundo actual) del Concilio Vaticano II, la carta encíclica Humanae vitae (Sobre la vida humana) del beato papa Pablo VI, y la encíclica Deus caritas est (Sobre el amor cristiano) del papa emérito Benedicto XVI.
  10. ¿Cómo puedo obtener un ejemplar de la exhortación apostólica?
    Amoris laetitia puede comprarse a través de USCCB Store:http://store.usccb.org/Post-Synodal-Apostolic-Exhortation-on-the-Family-p/7-540.htm. También se puede leer en su totalidad en el sitio web del Vaticano: http://www.vatican.va.

This is all the information he was mentioning during the video, plus maybe a little bit more.