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Rome Reports

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Pope to couples: Life is often not how we imagined it, especially when it comes to love

During his General Audience, the Pope reflected on Mary and Joseph’s relationship, which took an unexpected turn when Mary became pregnant with Jesus.

Pope Francis highlighted St. Joseph’s strength, noting that instead of letting himself be affected by bitterness, pain or humiliation, he chooses not to speak out against Mary.

"Many times we feel imprisoned by what has happened to us: 'But look what happened to me!' And we remain imprisoned by that. The temptation is to close ourselves up in that pain, in the thought of the bad things that have happened to us. And this does us no good. This brings us to sadness and bitterness. A bitter heart is an ugly thing."

The Pope said that St. Joseph made a mature decision, as someone who accepts life as it comes, without unrealistic romanticism.

"St. Joseph gives us an important lesson. He chooses Mary with 'his eyes open.' We can say 'with all the risks.' Our lives are very often not what we imagine them to be. Especially in relationships of love, of affection. It is difficult to move from the logic of falling in love to the logic of a mature love. It needs to happen. From infatuation to mature love. You, newlyweds, think about this.

The Pope explained to couples that the virtues of chastity and respect are not meant to create feelings of guilt, but to strengthen love and help them make difficult decisions without being swept away by infatuation.

The Pope praised St. Joseph’s courage for not fleeing from a completely unexpected situation, and he shared a very personal interpretation of a Gospel passage.

"Think about the Gospel of John, a reproach the doctors of the law make to Jesus is, 'We are not children born from that,' referring to prostitution. They knew how Mary had become pregnant and wanted to humiliate Jesus’ mother. For me, this is the worst, the most demonic passage in the Gospel. And this is the risk Joseph decides to take. He gives us a lesson: to take life as it comes."

Pope Francis directed much of his speech to couples and newlyweds. To help them foster a mature love, he encouraged them to always make peace after an argument.