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9258703311_fd01c78420_zPope Francis’ general audience from last week went through three phrases he says is key to building a happy family life.

They are:

1) May I?

2) Thank you

3) Pardon me (aka Will you forgive me?)

Pope Francis said, “These simple phrases are not so easy to say or to put into practice. But when they are ignored, their absence can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse. If these words are part of our daily lives, not just as a formal expression of good manners, but as a sign of deep love for one another, they strengthen a happy family life.”

You can read the rest of Pope Francis’ general audience and his reflection on those three phrases here.

I think all three phrases are extremely important in marriage, and while asking for forgiveness has never been a strong suit of mine, you have to become humble and meek, vulnerable, and forgiving for your marriage to work; willing to forgive and willing to ask for forgiveness when you’re wrong.

There’s no way around it.

But when you build on it, and when you practice these virtues, you not only grow closer to your spouse, but certainly, you also grow closer to reaching Heaven.

Just as we ask for forgiveness from our husbands, we must also learn to constantly ask for forgiveness from God.

Photo credit: John Hope Photography