Thursday, January 10, 2008

Book Review: The Pearl of Great Price

The Pearl of Great Price: Gospel Wisdom for Christian Marriage

Published by Liturgical Press, 2007
Author: Julie McCarty
Review by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Julie McCarty invites us to take a look at the gospels with “married” eyes to understand how married and engaged couples can pray and reflect on God’s words together. Along with the Liturgical Press Publishing Company, Mrs. McCarty has put together an excellent tool for Christian couples—truly a pearl of wisdom and inspiration for those couples willing to pause together in prayer with open hearts so that they may discover a deeper meaning and love in their commitment to one another. Through The Pearl of Great Price, the author bids couples to abandon their fears of discussing and sharing their deepest thoughts, hopes, fears, and failures and instead to embrace the intimacy of prayer united together as one.

The ancient prayer, lectio divina or “sacred reading” is utilized in this resourceful book. The couple is encouraged to “bite off a little chunk of Scripture and chew on it.” Mrs. McCarty alleviates the reader’s possible fears of discussing Scripture and praying together with a writing style that will ease away tension.

After explaining ways in which a couple can apply the full gospel to married life in her introduction, the author said, “You are not alone if at this point you feel a certain panic arising in you. Me? Take out a Bible and pray with my spouse? Are you kidding? Some couples can barely mumble a rote prayer together before meals, let alone hold hands and say something spontaneously aloud to God.”

By providing Scripture verses, reflections, simple discussion questions, and a closing prayer for each segment which should take twenty to thirty minutes of time, Mrs. McCarty supplies the tools necessary to get couples engaged in active and productive discussion with the goal of enriching their marriage or engagement.

This diminutive book will fit in one’s purse or pocket to be pulled out during quiet moments. However, don’t let the size of the book fool you! Plenty of wisdom and discussion starters for couples are packed between the pages. The Pearl of Great Price can be reflected upon individually. However, it is designed to be studied and shared as a couple.

Mrs. McCarty encourages couples to bare their souls to one another. She said, “What makes the strongest marriage is a total sharing of selves—bodies and minds, hearts and souls—and this comes about best in an atmosphere of listening, love, and respect for each other.”

Check out Liturgical Press and Amazon.Com for more information and to order.

To learn more about the author, go to her website.

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