Pope Francis believes the type of love manifested in a faithful marriage is “revolutionary.”
“A call to love … manifests itself in fidelity,” the pontiff said Wednesday during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Catholic News Agency reported.
“This letter of St. Paul is revolutionary to say a husband should love like Christ loves the Church,” he continued, in an apparent departure from his prepared message. “It’s a revolution. Always on the way of love.”
The pope’s remarks on fidelity were delivered as part of a weekly series on the Ten Commandments. This week’s lesson, which coincided with the eve of All Saints Days, focused on the Sixth Commandment to “not commit adultery.”
Instead of denouncing the singular act of adultery, Pope Francis went further to explain the more subtle ways in which individuals can fall short of Christ-like love.
“Who then is the adulterer, the lustful, the unfaithful?” he asked. “He is an immature person, who … interprets situations based on his own well-being and satisfaction.”
“The human body is not an instrument of pleasure,” he continued, “but the place of our call to love, and in authentic love there is no room for lust and for its superficiality. Men and women deserve more!”
The pope added that this command applies to “every man and woman,” not just those who are married. He noted twice that “every Christian vocation is spousal,” meaning that every believer is called to live out sacrificial, Christ-like love in a unique way.
“In the priesthood one loves God’s people with all the paternity, tenderness and strength of a husband and a father,” he explained. “The Church does not need aspirants to the role of priests, but men to whom the Holy Spirit touches the heart with unconditional love for the Bride of Christ.”
When we first consider Christ’s “fidelity, his tenderness, his generosity,” Pope Francis concluded, then we can “look with faith at marriage and every vocation, and we understand the full meaning of sexuality.”
(H/T: Catholic News Agency)