Thursday, 4 August 2016

Opening our hearts

New City Magazine is the magazine published by the Focolare movement, and has a United Kingdom edition.

Opening our hearts is the title of a testimony offered by a couple to the part played in their family life by two young people with physical or learning difficulties, and appears in the August/September 2016 issue. It is a very moving read.

As the story of Cara and Mario unfolds, one can see something of the possibilities of the "accompaniment" of which Pope Francis speaks in Amoris Laetitia. There is a journey from a marital situation that is "irregular" towards a marriage in Church, by way of a choice to foster vulnerable young people. One cannot but see also an action of grace in the acceptance into their family of a baby who was otherwise going to be allowed to die. The story of their family also verifies something of the experience of L'Arche, that those who are the carers can receive much from the people for whom they care. The lives of those with physical or learning difficulties are not a waste of time.

Cara and Mario's story provides an example of how grace can still be seen and recognised to be at work in the circumstances of a marriage that the Church might rightly recognise as being "irregular", the idea that is the basis for the accompaniment that Pope Francis suggests.

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