Posted September 07, 2015 in The Pope's Corner:
Please, Thank You, Sorry

by Pope Francis.

Living together is an art, a patient, beautiful, fascinating journey… . This journey of every day has a few rules that can be summed up in three phrases; please, thank you, and sorry.

Please. Can I? May I? This is the polite request to enter the life of another with respect and care… . True love does not impose itself harshly and aggressively… .

Courtesy enkindles love. And today in our families, in our world, which is frequently violent and arrogant, there is so much need for courtesy. And this can begin at home.

Thank you. It seems so easy to say these words, but we know that it is not. But it is important… . In your relationships and in married life, it is important to keep alive the awareness that the other person is a gift from God—and for the gifts of God we must always give thanks.

And in this interior attitude, one says thank you to the other for everything… .

I’m sorry. In life, we err frequently; we make many mistakes. We all do. Wait, maybe someone here has never made a mistake. Raise your hand if you are that someone.

We all do it… . Perhaps not a day goes by without making some mistake.

The Bible says that the just man sins seven times a day… . . Hence the need to use these simple words: "I’m sorry."

In general each of us is ready to accuse the other and to justify ourselves. This began with our father Adam. God asks him, "Adam, have you eaten of the fruit?" "Me? No! It was her. She gave it to me."

Accusing the other to avoid saying, "I’m sorry." "Forgive me." It’s an old story. It is an instinct that stands at the origin of so many disasters. Let us acknowledge our mistakes and ask for forgiveness.

"Forgive me if today I raised my voice." "I’m sorry if I passed without greeting you." "Excuse me if I was late." "I’m sorry I was angry and took it out on you." We can say many "I’m sorrys" every day.

In this way a Christian family grows. We all know that the perfect family does not exist, or a perfect husband or wife… . We sinners exist.

Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: don’t let a day end without asking forgiveness, without peace returning to our home, to our family.

It is normal for husband and wife to quarrel… . . Perhaps you were angry, perhaps plates flew, but please remember this: never let the sun go down without making peace… .

If you do, the next day what is inside of you is cold and hardened, and it is even more difficult to make peace.

But if we learn to say sorry and ask one another for forgiveness, the marriage will last and move forward.

Excerpted from an open dialogue made up of questions and answers between Pope Francis and thousands of young couples preparing for marriage, February 14, 2014 at St. Peter’s Square.


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