There’s a fun song in a musical that promotes the same attitude of love and joy that Pope Francis constantly promotes. Baloo, the bear, in Jungle Book, sings “Forget about your worries and your strife. The bare necessities in life are free……………..” He sings about Mother Nature and the natural resources she brings.
So maybe during this week in Lent, also the last week of the March theme of Family Rights, instead of the focus on the negative, painful, gloomy laments that are all too real around family life, can we celebrate rather the bare necessities that we do have. It’s in the mind, an attitude. As is often said, Love is a decision, and joy too, and even gratitude. They can all be chosen as Acts of Love and Sacrifice for Lent.
What are some things we can celebrate that relate to family rights? MARFAM’s Thought for the Day on 26 March noted the right to marry. The Church’s 1983 Charter of the Rights of the Family (can be googled and downloaded) states:
ARTICLE 1. All persons have the right to the free choice of their state of life and thus to marry and establish a family or to remain single. A) Every man and every woman having reached marriage age and having the necessary capacity has the right to marry and establish a family without any discrimination. B) Those who wish to marry and establish a family have the right to expect from society the moral, educational, social and economic conditions which will enable them to exercise their right to marry in all maturity and responsibility. C) the institutional value of marriage should be upheld by the public authorities, the situation of non-married couples must not be placed on the same level as marriage duly contracted.
ARTICLE 2 concerns the free and full consent of the spouses, man and woman as equals. There should be no pressure from their families, or conditions with regard to religious liberty.
ARTICLE 3 concerns the inalienable right to found a family and decide on the spacing and number of children to be born. This article also states, “in accordance with the objective moral order which excludes recourse to contraception, sterilization and abortion.”
Some of the Church’s conditions with regard to marriage are challenging to couples of today. In Amoris Laetitia, the Joy of Love Pope Francis deals in great detail with the mystery and beauty of the Sacrament of Marriage and its special place in the Church, However, while expressing the ideals, he takes a rather less challenging position too . He recognizes the imperfect reality of couples’ lives, their responsibility to act according to their informed conscience and still celebrate their choices with joy. From AL303
Marriage is an image, an icon of the relationship between God and his people and this love is intended to be a source of great joy to the couples and the Church as a whole. “The safeguarding of the Lord’s gift in the sacrament of matrimony is a concern not only of individual families but of the entire Christian community. AL 87
With all the current focus on the negatives around abuse and violence who is safe-guarding this right to marry and offering it the protection needed in order for it to be the source of joy? Society and the Church too are affected by the changes with regard to marriage and family life. Some are negative but, still, let’s decide not to lament. Where is the cause for celebrating even the bare necessities of life to be looked for and found in every situation?
The family theme EVERY FAMILY MATTERS recognizes these realities and encourages support for the wellbeing of all families. Despite the many reasons to lament, marriage and the right to marry are basic rights that should never be neglected, but be celebrated in ways, big and small. TR FAMILY WEEKLY 27 MARCH 2019
Lyrics of “The Bare Necessities” from Jungle Book/Mowgli.
Look for the bare necessities, The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife.
I mean the bare necessities, Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That bring the bare necessities of life, They’ll come to you. They’ll come to you!