The Joy of Love

Last week, Pope Francis released “Amoris Laetitia,” or “The Joy of Love,” an apostolic exhortation drawn from the collected insights of the Synod of the Bishops on the Family. The 256-page document has been warmly received by prominent Catholics around the world, and especially by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, New York, who chairs the U.S.C.C.B.’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family and Youth, called the document a “rich reflection on the mission of family” and an “inspirational aid” for clergy and laity alike. In terms of its goal, Bishop Malone said that the exhortation seeks to “[reach] people not in the abstract, but in the concrete realities of their lives” and to help support families through, not just “the joys and hopes,” but also “all of the sadness and difficulties of marriage and family life.” In this way, the Catholic church can find “new ways to walk with people,” according to Bishop Malone.

  • What impact do you think “Amoris Laetitia” will have on the church and on the world?
  • Describe some “new ways” in which you can walk with others. How can you extend a welcoming hand?
  • How has your Catholic faith shaped your family life?
  • How has your family shaped your Catholic faith?
  • What other topics do you think could be discussed by a synod of bishops?