Monday, June 29, 2015

Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive (Our Sunday Visitor)

Conservative Christians were dealt a blow with the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex union, and yes it is a union. Marriage is and always will be between one man and one woman, no matter what society says. No one can be surprised by the decision that was reached, and as outraged as we might be, it was only a matter of time. In fact, Christians are partly to blame for it being legalized. We accepted civil unions as marriage. We accepted no-fault divorces and second and third marriages without batting an eye and calling it what it was...adultery. The pendulum may never swing fully back in favor of conservative Christians, but we can continue to fight the best way possible...by showing what real, authentic marriage is. With that in mind, I am reviewing a book called Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.

Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive is a preparatory manual for the upcoming World Meeting of Families being held September 22-27, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. What exactly is a Woeld Meeting of Families? It is a meeting that was started by Pope John Paul II in 1994, and it occurs every three years. The book is divided into ten parts:

1. Created for Joy
2. The Mission of Love
3. The Meaning of Human Sexuality
4. Two Become One
5. Creating the Future
6. All Love Bears Fruit
7.  Light in a Dark World
8. A Home for the Wounded Heart
9. Mother, Teacher, Family: The Nature and Role of the Church
10, Choosing Life

When I requested this book, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it turns out that this book is simply a summary of the Catholic Church's teachings on marriage, love, and family. There is no spin or agenda, just the truth in black and white. This book explains to us that we are in this world to both receive and show God's love. It explains what true marriage is, and that human sexuality is designed for creation. An especially interesting chapter is "All Love Bears Fruit." In this chapter, it tells us that not everyone is called to marriage. This might be a harsh reality for some, but it is a truth that needs to be said. However, this chapter also tells us that even though we are not all called to marriage, we can "nurture new life" through forms of self-giving and service to others.

At the end of every chapter are questions for discussion. Discussion questions in books have always been a hallmark of Our Sunday Visitor books, because they know we sometimes need questions to call us in deeper. They also produce books that are good for small group study. The book then closes with a prayer for the World Meeting of Families, which we should try and pray everyday so that the meeting is fruitful. In this day and age, we need to be able and prepared to articulate what we believe and why our way is correct. We need to do it lovingly, mind you, but we are under attack and must be prepared. Therefore, I recommend picking up this brief book so that you will be ready for the inevitable defense you will have to make about your beliefs on love, marriage, and family. It's also available in Spanish!

This book was provided to me for free by Our Sunday Visitor in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!