“The Christian life we are called to live within the family is not something just to be studied. It is something to be lived. And it is something to be lived with joy.”-Carl A. Anderson, from the Introduction
When the Catholic Church speaks of "vocation," she means the "calling out" of each human person to accomplish a task preordained by God in the co-redemption of the world. Every human being has a vocation. God created each individual soul with a specific purpose in mind. Thus, the greatest joy for a Christian is pursuing the purpose for which God created him or her. For Christians, marriage is a vocation.
In this series of interviews and reflections, the Head of the Pontifical Council on the Family at the Vatican focuses on the intricacies of family. Bishop Laffitte provides theological and practical insight to deepen our relationships with our parents, children, brothers and sisters, and, ultimately, God. The Choice of the Family stresses the importance of the family in the twenty-first century. and issues a call to action for everyone to reinvigorate the teachings of Jesus in his or her day-to-day life.
Choice of the Family was one of the rare books where I marked many pages that really caught my eye. Usually when I read I never, with the rare exception, take the time to mark things down. Yet this book had so many interesting points ranging on a variety of topics that I felt that I had to, you know.
While I gather my thoughts on all the things I liked about this book, I want to tell you about what I did not like about it. The thing that made it hard for me to get into the book was the questions/commentary from those interviewing Bishop Laffitte. It could have been that something got lost in translation since Choice of the Family was originally written and published in French. All I'll say is that it was slightly stilted-the questions.
Since it is a topic that is heavily contested, I enjoyed seeing Bishop Laffitte's thoughts upon family. It was nice to see not only his thoughts on the family, but, also how he was influenced by the way he was raised by his parents. I thought the contrasting of what the Church teaches, in regards to the family, mixed with stories of how he was raised. You cold really see how his upbringing influenced and supported what the Church teaches when it comes to families.
Even though the questions and dialogue from the interviewers was, to me, somewhat murky, I enjoyed reading Bishop Laffitte's answers. One of the topics he did a great job expanding upon was that decline of parental discipline within our society. While there is no way that I could briefly explain why it interested me (let alone do it coherently), I thought he made some really great points on how society has taken away/changed how so detrimentally in the last few years.
The final thing that I really enjoyed about this book was his thoughts on why couples should not live together before marriage. You know, when you read and understand why the Catholic Church teaches against it, you really can see how it is in the best interest of the couple who intends to marry.
Final Verdict: Choice of the Family- There was, as you can probably tell, many things that enjoyed about Choice of the Family. Writing-wise, I enjoyed the overall tone of the book and how down-to-earth he was with his answers.
Choice of the Family earns
This book was received through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.