Tuesday 13 April 2021

Manual for Marriage - Dan and Danielle Bean

Manual for Marriage
ISBN 9781505116625
eISBN 9781505116649

I have read a couple of the “Manual For’s” from TAN Books. I greatly enjoyed and benefitted from reading the previous two and the same can be said for this volume. The previous volumes I have read in the series were Manual for Spiritual Warfare and Manual for Men. And this one was a logical progression. I honestly believe any marriage even the best of them could use work, and effort. I also believe that this book is an excellent volume towards that end. The beginning of the description of the book states:

“Dan and Danielle Bean, married for 25 years and veteran parents of 8 children, offer a modern take on an ancient idea: in marriage, we are called to something greater than ourselves. What can that mean in a modern world that abhors sacrifice, rejects the concept of permanence, and devalues the sacrament of marriage?”

And the description ends with:

“A thoughtful gift for engaged couples and newlyweds, this book is also a practical resource that can inspire and rejuvenate long-married and even struggling couples.”

I absolutely agree. This is an excellent resource for those engaged, for newlyweds and for those in longstanding marriages. The book begins with a quote from Chesterton that I have come across several times lately, it states:

“The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary
man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.”

And that is true even more so today. The sections in the book are:

Publisher’s Note
Part One: Made in Heaven: The Extraordinary Vocation to Marriage
 1 Marriage as Vocation
 2 Marriage as Sacrament
 3 Two Become One
 4 Love Is a Choice
 5 Mutual Love
 6 Home and Family Life

Part Two: Wisdom and Prayers for Marriage
 7 Wisdom of the Church
     From Councils and Conferences
     From the Catechism
     From the Popes
 8 Scripture for Marriage and Family
     Marriage and Family
     Love and Friendship
     Virtue in Marriage
 9 Holy Men and Women
     Venerables and Blesseds
     Faithful Scholars
10 Prayers
     For Parents
     For the Family

I would say this book is worth the price for many of the chapters even if they were stand alone. I know that I will be returning to the book often. Especially the second section. And the chapters on Holy Men and Women and Prayers. When I first started reading this, we have friends going through a separation. I found myself copying passages and sharing them with the husband often. I only highlighted a few passages on my first read through. Some of them are:

“Wherever this book finds you, it’s important to recognize that the call to marriage is ongoing. Marriage is a call we must hear and respond to again and again, over and over, getting it right, and then messing it up, and then getting it right again. Marriage can be a mess, and it can be beautifully perfect. It’s simple, and it’s complex. It’s easy, and it’s hard. It’s all of these things for all of us generally, but it’s all of these things uniquely in your own marriage too.”

“Father Jarrett writes, “The married life is as much a vocation as the life of the cloister, and marriage should dominate the life of the married.”3 What does this mean and how do we achieve it? You and your spouse are made for each other, and you have a duty, through God’s grace, to bring each other to holiness in this world. That great responsibility comes from God, and the special grace he dispenses to spouses is ultimately ordered to eternal life with him in heaven.”

“So what is this “highest calling”? What is this noble work God sets before you inside of the vocation to marriage? It is nothing less than the salvation of your spouse’s soul. That is the great work you are called to in the married life. You are not made for yourself; you are made for your spouse, and your goal is heaven.”

“Find new ways to receive and appreciate the sacraments together. Look for opportunities to receive the Eucharist and sacrament of Penance together.”

“St. John Paul II teaches, “When they become parents, spouses receive from God the gift of a new responsibility. Their parental love is called to become for the children the visible sign of the very love of God, ‘from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.’”

“When our children are very small, we are all they know. We are like God to them, and our task is to teach them to know and love the one true God. Does that worry you? It shouldn’t. Right there, in the heart of your family, is the perfect place for your child to grow to know God. Through your marriage, God created your family just for that purpose. Your unique family, in the heart of your home, is a sacred thing.”

I hope these few quotes and ringing endorsements inspire you to pick this book up. To either read yourself, or to give as gifts. I would love to see churches adopt the book and give it to all couple in marriage prep. It is a fantastic volume. Give it a read I am certain you will benefit from the time and effort.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Danielle Bean:
From Heaven To Manger: Family Prayers and Activities for Advent
Giving Thanks and Letting Go
Manual for Women
Mom to Mom, Day to Day
Momnipotent: The Not-So Perfect Woman's Guide to Catholic Motherhood
My Cup of Tea: Musings of a Catholic Mom
Peace on Earth: Family Devotions for Advent
Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Think. Pray. Act. Every Day.
You Are Enough: 
You're Worth It!

Manuals from Tan Books:
Manual for Conquering Deadly Sin - Rev. Fr. Dennis Kolinski, S.J.C.
Manual for Eucharistic Adoration - The Poor Clares Of Perpetual Adoration
Manual for Marian Devotion - The Dominican Sisters Of Mary
Manual for Men - Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted
Manual for Women - Danielle Bean

1 comment:

Jacqueline Vick said...

Thanks. I'm going to pick up a copy. As a couple without children, I can feel purposeless in my marriage, but according to this book, I'm not. That's good news.