Monday, February 8, 2010

The Catholic Family Handbook

The Catholic Family Handbook by Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik is probably the best book I've ever read on marriage and family. Although the Handbook was written in 1962, the wisdom contained within its pages is timeless.

The first half of the book is dedicated to married life, and Fr. Lovasik does not mince words. He implores all married couples to fashion their family life after that of the Holy Family and then proceeds to lay out how that should happen. Just about everything I have encountered within my own married life (and much, much more) is contained in this book. And unlike most marriage books, this one is not just geared toward the female audience. Fr. Lovasik writes to both men and women. Here is but a taste of his wisdom for married couples:

The thought of the Holy Family suggests the love of simplicity. Domestic and marital happiness are closely bound up with the simple but good things of your state of life. Seek your happiness within the range of your income and your social, domestic, and family circles, and you will spare yourself many heartaches. Husband, be fair to your wife and family in trying to provide the necessities and ordinary comforts of life. Wife, strive to live within the income that is provided.

And that is just on page 8! So much more advice and wisdom follows in the Handbook's pages on marriage.

The second half of the book is dedicated to the raising of children. I have read so many books on child-rearing, and again, this is the best I've encountered. Another excerpt:

...the sublime and difficult task of child-rearing demands that you be willing to embrace self-sacrifice and self-discipline. You must have inexhaustible patience, deep faith and trust in God, devotion to duty, prayerfulness, and a right reverence for your children's human dignity. You must have a serenity that no reverses can disturb and that rests upon faithful devotion to doing God's holy will. You will not falter if your confidence in God does not falter. Such stability and unfaltering bravery is the ideal of every good mother and father. You must be so deeply rooted in the changeless God that your children need only your example and wisdom to become exemplary Catholics.

In order that you may fulfill your office worthily, endeavor to be what God intends you to be. You cannot impart character, virtue, and nobility if you do not have these qualities. You cannot teach respect for God, for religion, and for you if you are lacking in this respect. You cannot expect your children to be faithful to their duties toward you if you are unfaithful in your duties toward them.

Again, that is only from the first chapter dedicated to raising kids.

Much of what is contained within these pages is advice that through the years has been lost in our selfish culture. If anything can help strengthen family life, it would be a diligent reading (and possible re-reading) of The Catholic Family Handbook. I would highly recommend this book for ALL Catholic families and also newly married couples.

I wrote this review of The Catholic Family Handbook for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


Lisa@UnexpectedJourney said...

I have this book, yet I haven't read it yet! I will do so this week!

Cmerie said...

I highly, highly recommend it. ;-)