I was exceptionally fortunate the other day when I went into Goodwill and found this book. This isn’t the kind of book you expect to find nestled between the Stuart Woods monstrosities and a dozen worn copies of Twilight and The Da Vinci Code. Not to mention it was signed. I can’t help but wonder what happened to land this book at Goodwill. Some woman cared enough to purchase the book and get it signed, presumably when Kimberly Hahn came into town for the annual woman’s conference a couple years back. (I’m still bitter about missing that particular conference.) This book has been on my wish list for years now, and somehow, I got to buy it at Goodwill for 2 bucks!
It’s worth much more than 2 bucks. Please don’t take this book as nothing more than an ode to large families. Don’t put it down because you’re offended since your family is small and/or you’re struggling with infertility. As the mother of only one, I came close a couple times to doing just that and I could easily see how someone could come to the erroneous conclusion that this book is only for those who have the “luxury” of being open to life.
But this book is extremely informative in regards to Church teaching on the real meaning of marriage. Through her story and the stories of countless of other people who shared their testimonies with her, you get to see what these teachings mean in real life. She counteracts many of the common complaints that people have about Church teaching in a straight-forward, honest way.
Perhaps the biggest take-away I have from this book is the sheer volume of advice she gives for those of us in ministry. This book is certainly not only for women, or only for married women, or only for married women who are open to life. It is for everyone, including, maybe especially, for those in ministry. She tells us what to say and what not to say to those who struggle. She gives a pretty extensive list of ways to help families in various stages in life and dealing with different hardships. This needs to be required reading for anyone in Elizabeth Ministry.
Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage deserves a place on any Catholic’s bookshelf. I hope the woman who donated it to Goodwill had the opportunity to really read it before she dropped it in the donation box. I can only hope that she donated it because she wanted to share it’s message, not because she found the message too hard or uninviting. What a bargain for 2 bucks!
(And I still hope to meet Kimberly Hahn someday. That would be awesome!)