I regret that I did not have the advantage of Father Brown’s scholarship and Mother Teresa’s personal witness to fall back on when as a young priest I first met devout Catholics who confided in me that they felt abandoned by God.
This exhortation cannot be read in isolation. That is a danger that I frequently see when the Church issues a new document, even by the Pope. Some people will latch on to the new, thinking that this is all we need to read or know.
While “Amoris Laetitia” does not contain any change in the Catholic Church’s teaching or discipline regarding marriage and family life, Pope Francis does seek to orient the Church toward a new and invigorated pastoral approach, especially toward those in difficult and wounded situations.
It would be my hope and prayer that we in this local church of the Archdiocese of Portland would never lose sight of what our very existence is really all about, namely the salvation and new life that has been won for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Of this I am sure: any and every human attempt to express God's self-revelation and our response to that revelation is limited by the simple reality that God is too great for us ever to comprehend much less commit to writing.