Witness to Love
How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages
that Survive and Thrive
by Ryan and Mary-Rose Verret
Saint Benedict Press (Kindle) / Tan
Books (Paperback) [August 2015]
This book is a pleasure to read. It has lots of practical advice for the engaged, the newly married and their mentors, that is, their witnesses to love. Married couples who are doing their best to live their married vocation are called to help the engaged. Mentors, the authors state, are not to be regarded as perfect couples but as couples who encounter challenges in living their vocation and can thus give practical advice.
The authors note that the word "matrimony" is derived from the Latin for "the state of becoming a mother". Marriage is intended for parenthood. Those who see marriage in other ways do not understand the meaning of marriage.
Mentors can help couples who have no immediate role-models within their family. Perhaps their parents or grand-parents are divorced. Married couples called to be mentors also need formation, especially at a time when retired married couples are increasingly getting divorced.
And so we come to the difficult subject of divorce. Of course, the newly engaged need to know why married couples divorce. But, the authors correctly argue, it is counter-productive to focus excessively on the subject of divorce. By doing so, couples may become scared to commit themselves to the vocation of marriage.
The authors consistently remind us that couples are not simply called to survive their married lives but are called to grow in charity together and attain holiness.
This book shows us that becoming mentors and offering advice to the newly married when asked is a wonderful calling. As with any vocation, formation is on-going throughout married life.
While being an easy read, this work is solid theology.
Reviewed by Dr Pravin Thevathasan