The fidelity of love was the theme addressed by Pope Francis at today's General Audience in St. Peter's Square.
"In fact—said the Pope—the whole family is really founded on the promise. [...] We can say that the family lives of the promise of love and fidelity that a man and a woman have made to one another." A promise that—said Francis—"involves a commitment to welcome and educate their children; but it is also active in the care for elderly parents, the protection and care for the weaker members of the family, and the mutual support given so that each one may realize his/her own qualities and accept his/her limits."
In our day, "the honor of fidelity to the promise of family life appears—noted Francis—largely weakened. On the one hand, because a misunderstood right to seek one's personal satisfaction, at all costs and in any relationship, is exalted as a non-negotiable principle of freedom. On the other hand, because people rely solely on the constraints of the law and bonds of social life and of the commitment to the common good. But, in reality, no one wants to be loved only for their goods or by obligation. Love, as well as friendship, owe their strength and their own beauty to this fact: they generate a bond without taking away freedom: love is free, the promise of the family is free, and that is beauty." So, "freedom and truth are not opposed to each other; indeed, they support one another, both in interpersonal relationships and in social ones." Fidelity is the "promise of a self-verifying commitment that grows in free obedience to one's word. Fidelity is trust that 'wants' to be truly shared and hope that 'wants' to be cultivated together."
The Pope also called for the "restitution of social honor to the fidelity of love. It is necessary to draw out of clandestinity the daily miracle of millions of men and women that regenerate their family foundation, thanks to which each society lives, without being able to guarantee it in any other way. Not by chance, this principle of fidelity to the promise of love and generation is written in God's creation as a perennial blessing, which is entrusted with