The Pope gave quite a few headliners when he addressed families in the Philippines. He started off with giving the crowd a few tips on happiness. Among them-don't stop dreaming! They were off the cuff remarks he said in Spanish.
"Every mother and every father dreamed about their children for nine months. Am I right? You dreamed about how your child would be. You can't have a family without dreaming! When a family loses the ability to dream, children don't grow, love doesn't grow, life turns weak and eventually shuts off.”
As a way to keep on dreaming, Pope Francis recommended that one take time, every night, before going to sleep, to reflect.
"At night, before going to sleep, I recommend you do an examination of conscience. As part of that, you should ask: 'Did I dream about the future of my kids today? 'Did I dream about the love of my husband, or my wife?'”
He also told parents to stay strong and to protect the enthusiasm they started off with. When ignored, he said, it can easily fade out.
"It's important to recuperate love, through the excitement of every day life. Keep the enthusiasm of dating!”
He then encouraged the youth, to recognize and even take advantage of the wisdom their grandparents have when it comes to faith and life.
"Ask yourself, 'Did I dream about my parents and grandparents and the legacy transmit through me? It's so important to dream... Please don't ever stop dreaming.”
Despite the challenges of a hectic work week in the office or at home, the Pope said time must be set aside to pray.
"If we don't pray, we will not know the most important thing of all: God’s will for us. And for all our activity, our busyness, without prayer we will accomplish very little.”
The Pope then added that he has a strong devotion towards St. Joseph. So much so that he even has an image of the saint on his desk. When faced with a problem, the Pope says he has a unique way of asking the saint for help.
"When I have a problem or face a challenge, I write it out on a piece of paper and I place it at the feet of St. Joseph. That way he can dream about it! He can even pray for me, so that the problem is solved.”
With topics like same sex marriage being addressed on an international level, the Pope also touched on controversial issues.
"Our countries, at a certain point in history reached the point where they said 'no' to political colonization. Now, families also have to be clear, prepared and strong to say 'no' to attempts of ideological colonization of the family. We must pray to St. Joseph, who is a friend of the Archangel, to illuminate us, so we know when to say 'yes' and when to say 'no.'”
Referencing Paul VI, Pope Francis said, he stayed strong on the issue of contraception, even though there was a heavy push back at the time.
"He saw the threat of the family being destroyed by not being open to life or children. Paul VI was brave. He was a good pastor. He alerted his sheep, telling them that the wolves were approaching.”
He also called on families and the country as a whole, to care for its elderly and orphaned street children.
It's estimated that about 200,000 children in the Philippines, were practically abandoned by their fathers. Foreign men who were on a business trip, and left a second family to fend for itself.