Villegas urges couples to ‘treasure sense of mystery’

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MANILA, May 20, 2014 — A Catholic prelate has called on families, especially married couples to treasure “the sense of mystery” in their day-to-day living, noting that it is through believing despite ambiguities and obscurities that faith is strengthened.

“When mystery is lost, infidelity sets in. Quarrels come in…and God will be set aside,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) during his homily for the opening mass of the Asian Conference on the Family (ACF) held at the Paco Catholic School auditorium last May 13.

Awe, wonder

He explained that God can be found not just through logical reasoning, but through a deep sense of mystery, awe, and wonder.

“When mystery is lost, the family will also be lost, because we can only be lights of hope if we accept that we are men and women of mystery, that we can only be understood by faith, that sense of awe, that sense of wonder,” he said.

Villegas noted that when the sense of mystery is preserved, Asian families will thrive, eventually becoming the lights of hope for the rest of the world.

“Sign of hope”

He also called on Christian families on Asia to be the “sign and symbol of hope” for the rest of families in the world.

A family makes the Stations of the Cross during this year's Lenten season. (Photo: CBCP News)

“We pray that every Christian family in Asia, every Christian family in the Philippines, will be a family of fire for the Lord. It is a family that is zealous for the Lord, constantly looking for the Lord, restless without the Lord,” Villegas said.

Running from May 13 to 16, the ACF gathered thousands of religious, educators, lay faithful, and politicians all over Asia to tackle the present-day situation of the human family.

It aimed to discuss the Charter of Rights of the Family—its message, challenges, and impact on families in the Asian region—30 years after it was promulgated on October 22, 1983.

Bishop John Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, was among the key people who graced the convention. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, several bishops from different Asian countries, Filipino lawmakers, and other public officials were also present. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

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