Monday 3 June 2019

7 Words on Marriage - Father Ivano Millico - CTS Living the Sacraments Series

7 Words on Marriage
Living the Sacraments Series
Father Ivano Millico
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784695583
eISBN 9781784695910
CTS Booklet PA49

Over the last year and a half, I have read 75 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. There are some incredible reads, and many great books and series. This is the first book in the Living the Sacraments Series that I have read, and also the first by Father Ivano Millico, it will not be the last for either. The description of this book is:

“Here are seven life-giving words to shed light on your marriage, in whatever state it may be. Drawing from the marriage promises, married couples in Scripture, and from the inspirational and practical insights of Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II, we discover that the Loving God is a constant presence binding the couple together. Our job is to discover it. Every marriage is different yet the same: in its joys and sorrows, peaks and troughs, successes and darkest failures. These words - on accepting the other person, seeing God's providence in our spouse, learning forgiveness, making love so as to strengthen Love, making space for God's fidelity, overcoming fears in true Love, and preparing for our journey as a family - are our heritage; they belong to married couples and those preparing for marriage. These words open up new possibilities and affirm: we can still have faith in marriage, the most beautiful thing God created - introducing the couple to the author of Love and to each other in an utterly unique way.”

And it does an amazing job of that. The sections in this volume are:

1. I take Thee

 “Never without the Other”
 The DNA of marriage
 Mysticism of the encounter
2. She has been given to you from Heaven
 “Accompaniment, Discernment and Providence”
3. Argue as much as you want…but forgive
 “Forgive me – the vocation and the mission of the Christian family”
 Three essential words!
 Who pays the divorce fees?
 The capacity to forgive
 Prayers of forgiveness
4. What God has united, let no man put asunder
 “The bridal chamber”
 The prayer of Tobias and Sarah
 Liturgy of healing
 Profession of faith
 Holy Spirit
5. Receive this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity
 “The Wedding Rings”
 To prepare young people for marriage, it is necessary to teach them love
 Anna and Stefan
6. Love
 “Are you afraid of love?”
“Yes, I am afraid.”
 The whole secret of love
 Cana: meeting the Bridegroom
 Anchor your love to Love
7. From Shunem to Emmaus
 “The domestic Church”
 Shunem: the domestic Church
 Emmaus: catechumenate and family in mission
Prayer of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

In the introduction Father Ivan states:

“What follows are ‘seven words’ on marriage, your marriage, in seven chapters. They are mainly words pronounced on your wedding day, taken from the Rite of Marriage; words found on the lips of married couples in the Bible; words of poetry and drama; words of advice from priests, Popes and even Saints!

These words are yours – they belong to your marriage, they are your heritage. They are meant for couples engaged to be married as well as for married couples; full of joy or going through difficulties and serious problems; broken couples whose marriage has failed them and couples too afraid or disenchanted to marry. These words are for you, they come from the Church who loves you and announces to you that marriage is the most beautiful thing God has created.”

Our wedding is a day, but our marriages are to be a lifetime of working together and working out our salvation. I once read that are marriages are not just to make us happy, but to make us holy. By working through the seven words examined in the booklet we see a glimpse of how we can strive to achieve that holiness and encourage it in our spouse. In the first chapter Father says:

“At the centre of every marriage are these words: “I take Thee”. What do they mean? In the Latin Rite of Marriage, the expression used for ‘I take’ is ‘accipio’. The Latin verb ‘accipere’ means much more than ‘to take’, it means: ‘to receive’, ‘to welcome’. When a man and a woman get married, one does not ‘take’ the other, but ‘receives’ another. The ‘DNA’ of marriage is a DNA of welcoming, openness and communion.”

And the same chapter ends with:

“The words “I take Thee” pronounced in marriage echo a very ancient Christian prayer pronounced in a low voice by the priest before receiving Holy Communion:8 I take you…I receive you…I welcome you…may I never be parted from you…”

I look at the state of many marriages today, and many broken homes. I wonder how different things would be if more people really understood the sacramental nature of the marriage and lived it out. This is a powerful little book to encourage those in marriages, to challenge them. It would also be great for those preparing for marriage.

The book ends with a Prayer of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, It is an amazing prayer dedicating your marriage to God. The book is an excellent read, but it is worth more than the price even if you just start praying this prayer regularly.

It is another excellent read from The Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Fr Ivano Millico:
The Door of Mercy
The Meaning of Lent
7 Words on Marriage
Seeing the Pandemic with Eyes of Faith

Books in the Living the Sacraments Series:

Confirmed - Catholic Truth Society
Food for the Journey - Catholic Truth Society
Meet Christ in the Eucharist - Fr Stephen Wang
Spiritual First Aid - Fr Jim McManus CssR
A Question of Death & Life - r Neil McNicholas
Cherishing Your Wedding - Kerry Urdzik
7 Words on Marriage - Fr Ivano Millico
Love's True Meaning - Fr Anthony Doe
Beloved - Catholic Truth Society
Preparing for your Child's Baptism - Sr Hyacinthe Defos du Rau OP

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