I see this as one of the most applicable and important points that Pope Francis made. Something that was said that stuck out me was, “Men and women, young people and adults, communicate differently.” I think being able to understand each others forms of communication can make or break a relationship. Everyone shows their feelings in their own way and sometimes things get lost in translation. In my own personal relationships, communication has been a problem before. I am a really confrontational person and a lot of people in my life in the past have not been that way with me. This is has ended relationships for me because people have not communicated to me which leads to tension and then a fight and then a breakup or loss of a friend. That is why I think that the different ways people communicate are important to recognize going into a relationship because then that makes it easier to avoid tension by learning how to understand and comprehend that person’s concerns and feelings. I think as people take time to get to know each other they can form the virtue of love.
As we talked about during our discussion of hookup culture, emotions are hard to come across in today’s world. We are trained by our culture that we should hide our emotions to protect ourselves from pain. I have definitely found myself trying not to “catch feelings” during certain situations. Pope Francis’s writing encourages me to diverge from this mainstream idea. When he used the example of Jesus crying over the death of a friend, I really understood his point. I think this also relates to the idea of gender as a social construct. Men are not supposed to cry over things like rejection but Jesus cried over the rejection of Jerusalem. Showing emotions are the only way to find oneself in the virtue of love.
I like that in this point, Pope Francis compares love to one another with God’s unconditional love. I chose it because it is one of the aspects of the virtue of love that I struggle with. A question I would ask Pope Francis is, “when do we know it is appropriate to give up on a relationship?” and “is it ok to have past relationships that we are unable to forgive.” In situations where someone wronged another and never apologized or was abusive how do we bring ourselves to forgive them? Relationships do not exist without conflict. I think the idea of forgiveness can be controversial because sometimes you have to choose to love yourself or a person who has hurt you. When I say “love yourself” I mean that when there is a toxic person in your life you might have to choose to support yourself by losing them. I have struggled with forgiveness in the past because I forgive too easily sometimes without addressing the problem directly with the person. So I definitely think to foster love, one must forgive past wrongs that occurred, but it is still a topic that I struggle understanding completely.