The Francis Chronicles
Families are weakened and destroyed by war, "the mother of all forms of poverty," as well as by economies and policies that worship money and power, Pope Francis said.
"It's almost a miracle" that, even in poverty and crisis, the family can keep on going, safeguarding its bonds and staying intact, he said at his weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
The road to salvation may be pitted with failures, but God uses them and overturns them to manifest his love for his people, said Pope Francis.
Reflecting on the parable of the wicked tenants in the Gospel of Mark during morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Monday, the pope said the parable may be understood to represent the "failure of God's dream."
Christians must ask themselves whether they help people in need of salvation or whether they just keep Jesus for themselves and are deaf or indifferent to others, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
"It would be good for us to have an examination of conscience" and see if we are Christians who bring people to Christ or push them away, the pope said Thursday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Couples who are seeking to marry, even those who have lived together, should value their engagement period as a time to grow in mature love and in profound knowledge of each other, said Pope Francis.
The pope urged couples not to rush into marriage. Maturation in love before marriage is a slow process, in which none of the steps should be skipped, Pope Francis told people at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
"The covenant of love between a man and a woman, a covenant for life, cannot be improvised; it cannot be done from one day to the next," he said.
Pope Francis urged Franciscan friars to hold true to their charism of fraternity, humility and poverty and not lose the respect they have earned over the centuries for living up to those ideals.
The more one feels small before God and in need of his mercy, "the closer we are to salvation; the more we are convinced of being sinners, the more we are willing to be saved," he said in an audience Tuesday with 200 Franciscan leaders.