As I have seen glimpses into different papal documents in various resources, I have realized that there is so much I would like to read. Pope Francis' post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was the first complete papal document that I read, but it of course pointed toward many others I would like to explore in full.
Our parish is participating in the Dynamic Catholic Parish Champion program, and this book was one of the monthly free resources last fall.
At the start of the document Pope Francis stated that it "represents an invitation to Christian families to value the gifts of marriage and the family, and to persevere in a love strengthened by the virtues of generosity, commitment, fidelity and patience," as well as "[encouraging] everyone to be a sign of mercy and closeness wherever family life remains imperfect or lacks peace and joy" (p. 11). Pope Francis then provided an overview of the entire document and recommended ways to approach it, namely for readers to take their time reading and to feel free to read sections that appear most relevant to current context, rather than needing to read the book beginning to end.
I appreciated the insight shared relevant to different layers of marriage and family life, including navigating different phases. It provides aspects to reflect on in order to celebrate the vocation of marriage and living a sacramental life. It gave me points to consider as a wife, as a mom, and to support other families with links to current life contexts. It prompted to consider the beautiful plan for families while also recognizing the reality of challenges and less than ideal contexts. Through it all there was a sense of hope to families to reflect on current realities and grow from there and the role of the Church to support this process.