This small, admittedly stinky (really the paper and the glue smell horrible), book is a soothing balm for the heart and a great preparation for the World Meetings of Families coming later this month.
If you haven’t heard, every 3 years a meeting is held to discuss the family. It’s kinda like a World Youth Day for Catholic families. This year the World Meeting of Families is being held in Philadelphia and Pope Francis is going to be making an appearance the last 2 days of the conference. This meeting will discuss not only the controversial issues like birth control, gay marriage and divorce, but more mundane issues like the daily challenges of living out our faith and how can parishes better serve families.
Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive is the theme for this year’s meeting and the title for this book. The book is, frankly, amazing. In a measly 115 pages, it thoroughly explains the Church’s views of sex, marriage, and the family in a very accessible way. It gives the necessary foundation and then courageously jumps into the murky, “hard teachings” in a way that is distinctly pastoral. Each of the 10 chapters end with 4 questions that are a nice blend of review and personal reflection. In all, this book would make a great study for your parish.
I wish it didn’t cost $10 and that it didn’t stink so much. Seriously, don’t put this book up to your nose. As bad as the odor and price is, the book is made of good materials and appears very sturdy, so it should stand up to many readings and many studies. I would still recommend purchasing a paperback of the book because I can guarantee that you will be using a highlighter and taking notes in the book. It’s just not the same studying hard from an e-book.
Everyone needs to read this book. I guess another complaint would be that the title and marketing for this book makes it seem very event specific. I would like to see this republished as a kind of Compendium of Catholic Sexual Ethics. The material in this book is as timeless as Church teaching itself. Reading this over the past week has given me great peace and comfort in a world that seems to have gone mad. Notice, none of my complaints have anything to do with the content of the book. Because the content is pretty much flawless. And that’s all I have to say.