Pope to Vatican employees: Take care of your marriage, grandparents

IMAGE: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano

By Carol Glatz

CITY (CNS) — Take care of your marriage and aging parents, play with your
kids, and always make peace at the end of the day, Pope Francis told Vatican
employees and their families.

Try to
live out the Year of Mercy every day in the hopes that everyone can
“experience the joy of mercy, beginning with your families,” he said
during a special audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall Dec. 21.

pope continued a tradition he started last year of inviting people who work at
the Vatican, along with their family members and loved ones, to receive
pre-Christmas greetings. The now-annual meeting follows a longer-held tradition
of the pope meeting with members of the Roman Curia — the church’s central
administrative offices — as well as cardinals living in Rome and members of
the papal household.

Francis thanked the Vatican employees, most of them laypeople, for their hard
work and dedication, even when carrying out their duties often comes with no
recognition or appreciation.

while I am thanking you, I want to also ask your forgiveness for the scandals
there have been in the Vatican,” he said.

asked that they pray “for the people involved in these scandals so that
those who erred may mend their ways and can end up again on the right

But the
most important thing he wanted to tell them, he said, is to take care of their
marriage and never take it for granted.

marriage “is like a plant. It’s not like a cabinet that you put over
there, in a room, and dust it every now and then. It’s a living plant, it has
to be taken care of every day,” he said.

fact, the best gift parents can give their children is to show the kids how
much they love and care for each other, he said.

should also focus more on doing things together with the kids and worry less about
material things, he said.

to your kids, listen to them, ask them what they think” and play with
them. “Dialogue between parents and children is very healthy,” he added.

pope also said to make sure the children get to live or spend time with their

take care of grandparents. Grandparents are so important for families,”
especially because of the memories they hold from the past and the wisdom they
possess. “Don’t set them aside,” he urged.

he asked everyone always to make sure that any fights or arguments during the
day ended in peace before bedtime.

have to make sure they have made peace and parents need to make sure the kids
have made peace with a handshake or a kiss.

necessary to learn this wisdom of making peace” right away and not let it
linger, he said.

you waged war during the day? Is this war still smoldering? Don’t let it become
cold because a ‘cold war’ the day after is more dangerous than a ‘hot war.’ Got
it? Always make peace at night,” he said.

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Follow Glatz on Twitter: @carolglatz.


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