Marriage During the Pandemic
By Kim Roberts
Pope Francis released a letter during the Christmas season for married couples around the world.
He wrote about his desire for families to feel his “affection and closeness at this special time,” which has been plagued with a pandemic and rolling lockdowns. He said that the situation that individuals, families and married couples find themselves in currently warrants an approach of humility, affection and openness.
As I read this, his words struck a chord with me. The unprecedented times that we are living in can definitely be frustrating and worrisome, and a bit of humility, affection and openness would go a long way for all of us.
Pope Francis focused his letter on couples and finding the constant presence of Jesus in the day-to-day situations of family life – especially during the ongoing pandemic.
From the beginning of married life, we all set out on a journey to build a life together – for better or worse, in sickness or health. Reflecting on this last year, those words have never rung more true. What has helped my husband and me get through the last year is our relationship with God. It has kept us focused and strong in the face of the unknown.
As Pope Francis states, our Christian faith reminds us that we are not alone in the challenges that we face, since Jesus is present. That was something that we needed to hang on to, and still do. We are not alone; God will see us through this pandemic.
We need to keep remembering to find peace, overcome conflicts and discover solutions to difficult problems. I know that the problems won’t disappear, but we will be able to see it from a different perspective and find a way through. Luckily, we have found that our marriage, and our home, can be a refuge during the pandemic, a place of acceptance and understanding.
At the end of his letter, Pope Francis offered this prayer for families in the New Year:
“May St. Joseph inspire in all families a creative courage, so essential for these times of epochal change. May Our Lady help you to foster in your married lives the culture of encounter that we so urgently need in order to face today’s problems and troubles.”