CBB Review: Intimate Graces

CBB Review: Intimate Graces May 31, 2016

intimate_graces_spotlightI am always on the look out for Catholic books about marriage, and to my delight Intimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings Out the Best in Marriage written by husband and wife team Teresa Tomeo (Pastore) and Dominick Pastore…. is a great one!

The Pastore’s invite us into their marriage to explain “…all the ways God has transformed our lives through small, consistent acts of kindness and mercy that we have experienced within the island of mercy that is our marriage. By the mercy of God, we have come to know the intimate graces that are possible only within the safety and security of a Christ-centered marriage.”

This book is a true blessing that weds the vocation of marriage with the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy’s works of mercy (pun intended). I read this book on my own, but I can see rereading it with my husband – something we whole-heartedly enjoy… reading aloud to each other. The titles only begin to give a hint of the richness of each chapter. Here are a few of my favorites…

Chapter Four – Shelter the Homeless: Become “home” for the one you love. This has always been my philosophy of marriage, too! As Dominick explains: “What I came to realize is that as a husband I needed to be that person that Teresa can totally rely on, be comfortable with, be herself with- in short, that person who protects, shelters, allows to grow, and honors who she is as a person created in the image and likeness of God.”

Chapter Six – Ransom the Captive: Allow God to capture our hearts. Teresa tells us: “If we’re really seeking God, he will show us some things about ourselves that will be tough to face- not for our condemnation but for our growth and our good. He wants to “gather us” and “bring us back” from exile and return us to the place it all began… to a kind of Eden, a place of intimate grace and healing love. He wants to ransom our captive hearts and help us experience the freedom of his abundant mercy and love.”

Chapter Eight – Instruct the Ignorant: Embrace marriage as an ongoing path to discovery. Sometimes marriage is sooooo hard that we forget that it is also a wonderful and exciting adventure! I love how Dominick puts this into words: “Through my marriage I’ve been able to grow, learn, experience, and discover things that I never would have without Teresa. And that’s different than saying “without a wife.” Because God is the author of our marriages, we are together for a reason and a purpose. We are on this journey together, and as much as I would like a clear, straight path, we can barely see around the next bend in the road. Every day is a new experience, but we experience it together with the Lord at our side.”

“… the island of mercy that is our marriage…” do I need to say more?

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