Review by Julie Abell One thing I have learned over my life is that thinking that I am the only person I know experiencing such and such emotions is false.  Loneliness, for example, is something I have felt at parties and on camping trips accompanying family friends.  Early on I would have myself a pity party, but as always, when I finally confided in a friend or just listened to a friend having her own pity-party I discovered that I… Read more

Barbarian invaders had violated many consecrated virgins in Rome. Was their chastity destroyed? No, says St. Augustine: the purity of the body depends on the purity of the soul, not on the violence of the unpredictable outside world. The sanctity of the body does not depend on the integrity of its mem­bers, or on their being untouched. After all, they are subject to various accidents that hurt them and wound them, and the surgeons who bring relief often perform operations… Read more

If you keep your gaze trained on things that are above, says St. Gregory the Great, you’ll be able to walk the right path through your life here on earth. Lift your faithful hearts, dear friends, to the gracious blaze of eternal light, and pay close attention, in adoration of the mysteries given for our salvation, to the things that have been done for you. Love the purity of a chaste life, because Christ is the Son of a virgin…. Read more

Fr. Charles P. Connor, S.T.L., Ph.D., is a professor of systemic theology and Church history at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He has co-produced dozens of series for EWTN and is actively engaged in preaching retreats for priests and laity throughout the United States. A priest of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, he served in diocesan parishes for eighteen years, including as rector of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton. Fr. Connor holds a number of degrees from the… Read more

St. John Chrysostom tells Christian husbands that they need to treat their wives with the respect they deserve. In a Christian marriage, a husband is as respon­sible to the wife as the wife is to the husband. If your wife is always going out in public assemblies, you’re severe in blaming her. But you spend whole days at public shows, and you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. When it comes to your wife’s modesty, you’re so strict that… Read more

Roman law severely punished women for adultery, but figured boys will be boys. Asterius of Amasea, however, tells us that God has no double standard. The laws of marriage apply exactly equally to husband and wife. Let both parties to the marriage contract practice self-control in the un­broken bond of wedlock. For where the honor of marriage is maintained, there must necessarily be affection and peace, with no vulgar and unlawful desire to excite the soul and expel legitimate and… Read more

So you think your spouse is impossible. Well, that may be true, says Asterius of Amasea. But everyone’s human, and you’re not so easy to get along with, either. “My wife’s disposition,” he says, “is mean and hateful, and her tongue is violent, and her tastes are not domestic, and her house is ill-managed.” So be it. Granted. I am persuaded so far, and accept it, like the judges who are not very critical in hearing, but are readily carried… Read more

God created marriage, says Asterius of Amasea. A husband and wife are married not just before earthly witnesses, but also before Christ. If you di­vorce your spouse, how will you answer when you face the Judge who was also your Witness? The Creator was the first bestower of the bride in marriage, since he joined the first human beings in the marriage bond. Thus he gave to all who would come later the inflexible ordinance of the conjugal life, which… Read more

If you’re married, says St. John Chrysostom, that doesn’t mean you can’t be chaste. The laws of chastity apply to you just as much as they do to the monks in the desert. “Well, what do you want us to do?” someone says. “Do you want us to go live on the mountains and turn into monks?” This is what makes me sad, that you think only monks are concerned with decency and chastity—and yet certainly Christ made his laws… Read more

Review by Katie Zumbrum Whether we like it or not, the Lenten season is almost upon us.  It has a way of sneaking up on the best of us and sometimes the only reminder is fish making a sudden appearance at restaurants.  I think of Lent as a season of sacrifice – which it is – but the book Lenten Healing: 40 Days to Set You Free from Sin also made me think of it as a way to look… Read more

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