Genre

Non Fiction

Audience

Engadged & Married Catholics

Author’s Worldview

Catholic

Year Published

2019

Themes

marriage, matrimony, sacraments, vocation, vocations, Catholicism, Catholic, family, chastity, sexual ethics, sacrifice, Eucharist, communion

 

Reviewed by

Ruby Shao

 To help restore marriage as a vocation among Catholics, How to Nourish Your Marriage: The Sacramental Method briefly explains how marriage benefits from the seven sacraments that Christ instituted as the essentials for every human life. Two chapters introduce the book and the sacraments as a whole. The next chapters treat, in order, “Matrimony,” “Baptism,” “Confirmation,” the “Anointing of the Sick,” “Holy Orders,” “Penance and Reconciliation,” and the “Eucharist.”

Subscribe to our Newsletter & Get Weekly Catholic Books for as little as $1

      Perhaps because Michael So studied as a seminarian before marrying, he almost seems to be writing homilies. Each chapter starts with Scripture, incorporates anecdotes, and explicates Church teaching, often with excellent references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. One can imagine a friendly, upbeat priest preaching such words to a congregation. The powerful discussion questions at the end of each chapter would enhance an Examination of Conscience. How to Nourish Your Marriage: The Sacramental Method would interest engaged or married Catholics, whether individually or as couples, who are seeking light tips in just 43 pages.

       So grounds his definition of the sacraments in several excerpts of the Catechism, summarizing the sacraments as “works of God that transform open and faithful recipients to be like Jesus” (6). He explains that the sacraments elevate natural elements of life into supernatural ones (7). Thus sanctified, humans who keep receiving the sacraments can join the family of God as His adopted sons and daughters for eternity (7).

      Launching from this solid overview of the sacraments, several of the chapters present compelling ideas. “Matrimony” likens the covenant between God and humanity to the covenant between husband and wife. Even as someone familiar with this parallel, I found fresh angles, especially with regard to Biblical history, the difference between heaven and hell, and the distinctively marital fruitfulness of not only creating but also raising children. “Baptism” calls for marital unity with a whimsical analogy involving trees. Attending to the nuances of why spouses might hold grudges against each other, “Penance and Reconciliation” supplies practical advice on forgiveness. “Eucharist” makes a touching comparison: “Every time the Eucharist is celebrated, the participants of the Mass are brought to the foot of Jesus’ Cross. Just so, every time a couple chooses to love each other, their matrimonial vows are in a sense made present and renewed” (38). So adds that “the Eucharist makes us into one flesh with God and with each other,” a family that lasts forever, just as every marriage should continue until the death of one of the spouses instead of ending in divorce (38–39). The final chapter, “Concluding Thoughts,” gives a moving exhortation from So’s heart.

      As the book assumes basic knowledge of each of the sacraments, it caters to Catholics specifically. How to Nourish Your Marriage offers many sweet lessons to believers on the path to matrimony.

Subscribe to our Newsletter & Get Weekly Catholic Books for as little as $1

 

Join Here for FREE to Never Miss a Deal

Find new favorites & Support Catholic Authors

August & September New Book Releases

Step into Fall with a Good Book

Help from Heaven by Andrea Jo Rodgers

In this year of tragedy, Rodgers reminds us of the miracle of human kindness.

The Fisherman’s Tomb; The Story of the Vatican’s Secret Search by John O’Neill

The untold true story of the greatest treasure hunt of the century, all done under the noses of the Nazi invasion.

Revelations Of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, read by Sr. Wendy Beckett, Edited by Donna K. Triggs

A 14th century account of visions exploring the meaning of love, and God as love.

Broken Brain; Fortified Faith: Lessons of Hope Through a Child’s Mental Illness

When her daughter is stricken insane her mother finds the grace to do what she must to save her and bring her back to sanity.

Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Connor

An intimate window into the mind of a great artist and honest Christian

The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom by Gerald L. Schroeder

Essential reading for anyone involved in the debate between religion and science.

All Things New by Erin McCole Cupp Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family

A guide to self-aware parenting for those poorly parented

The Mission of Joan Of Arc by Philip Kosloski, Alexandre Nascimento, and Jesse Hansen

Voyage Comics’ dynamic interpretation of the Life of Joan of Arc is based on the play written by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

Milestone to Manhood: A Christian Rite of Passage to Help Your 13-Year-Old Son Make the Leap from Boyhood to Manhood by David Arms and Steven Arms

One father’s quest to help his sons learn what it means to be a man – and how you can start your own tradition.

Bead by Bead: The Scriptural Rosary by Meggie K. Daly 

A scriptural meditation and a moving witness of how the rosary brought the author back to The Church.

Paul’s Prayers by Susan Anderson

A mother reveals with honesty and authenticity the difficulties of raising a child with autism and the struggles that child faces every minute of every day.

Lord of the Rings & the Eucharist by Scott L. Smith

What do trees have to do with Bread & Wine?

Transgender Ideology & Gender Dysphoria: A Catholic response by Dr. Jake Thibault

A pastoral, academic overview of one of today’s most controversial issues: transgenderism.

Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers Jeannie Ewing and Eileen Benthal

If you’re a care-giver for a chronically sick family member or friend, this book is for you and your healing.

Image of God, Personhood & the Embryo by Calum MacKeller

Abortion is not the only danger to the human embryo. Defend humanity from experimentation in the USA.

Abolishing Abortion by Fr. Frank Pavone

An invaluable handbook for pro-life religious non-profits that want to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—without risking their tax-exempt status.

At Heaven’s Edge:  True Stories of Faith and Rescue By Andrea Jo Rodgers

As an EMT Rodgers has seen God work in ways that defy medical analysis.