"Every act of forgiveness repairs the cracks in the house and strengthens its walls." At the Wednesday General Audience on November 4th, Pope Francis began by speaking about the Synod on the family, calling it an "event of grace," and then focused his catechesis on forgiveness.
"Without forgiving it is impossible to live—he said—or at least to live well, especially in the family. Every day we do each other wrong. We have to take into account these mistakes that are due to our fragility and our self-centeredness. Yet, what we are asked to do is to immediately heal the wounds we cause, to reweave the threads that we break in the family. If we wait too long, everything becomes more difficult." If we learn mutual forgiveness in the family, apologizing before it's too late, the family itself is made "stronger" and "less cruel than society." Consequently, then—the Pope said—the family is "a great training ground for reciprocal giving and forgiving, without which—he asserted—no love can last for long."
"If we learn to ask for forgiveness immediately—he continued—and mutually forgive one another, healing the wounds, the marriage is strengthened and the family home gradually becomes more solid, capable of resisting the shock of our small and great wickedness. Now, that does not require a big speech, but just a caress: a caress and everything is finished and starts again. But do not end the day at war! Got it?". "The ability to forgive and to forgive one another—he added—is part of the family's vocation and mission. The practice of forgiveness not only saves families from division, but it also enables them to help society to be less wicked and less cruel. Yes, every act of forgiveness repairs the cracks in the house and strengthens its walls."
Referring to the rapidly approaching Jubilee, Francis wished the families that their faith and forgiveness may also help the "great family of the Church" to grow: "Truly, Christian families can do much for today's society, and also for the Church. It is, therefore, my wish that during the Jubilee of Mercy families will rediscover the treasure of mutual forgiving. Let us pray that the families become increasingly able to live and build concrete paths of reconciliation, where no one feels abandoned under the weight of his debts."