A family of five – father, mother and three kids. The eldest is 15, attending class X and the youngest is 3. They had come to the church for the Lenten confession. Suddenly there flashed a doubt in the mind of the lady which disturbed her peace. She has been using contraceptives for artificial birth control. “If I confess it, but continue to use the contraceptives even after confession, how sincere my confession would be?” She was in total confusion.
At this juncture, the husband also was called in. Talking to both of them what unfurled was the depth of mental agony both of them were going through. The first two children were born when the couple had been honestly practising natural family planning! The most interesting fact was that both of them were practising doctors.
Couples who sincerely strive to live their faith do pass through a variety of mental conflicts.
The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, “Amoris Laetitia” – “The Joy of Love,” calls for a fresh beginning in Church’s accompaniment of families. The Pope makes a whole hearted appeal in this direction. He passionately reminds that it is the duty of the Church to offer pastoral accompaniment, support and tender motherly care to families so much tossed around by the problems of today.
Companion in this issue gives a gist of the 261-page Apostolic Exhortation. The heart of this Apostolic Exhortation is the Chapter VIII, titled, “Guiding, Discerning and Integrating Weakness.” May this Apostolic Exhortation be an incentive to all the pastors of the Church to serve and accompany families, with a heart full of mercy.
Dr. Jacob Naluparayil