Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: "Come My Beloved"

Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship
by Ellen Gable Hrkach and Kathy Cassanto

When I was asked to review "Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship," I wasn't sure what to expect. I find reading "courtship" stories difficult because my experience of dating was so far removed from that ideal.

Yet, despite my hesitation, I found myself enjoying these love stories. Ellen Gable Hrkach and Kathy Cassanto asked a wide spectrum of couples to share their stories of how they met and came to the decision to marry. There are couples of all different ages, from different locales, and different backgrounds. Those who are familiar with Catholic writers will recognize the names of Sarah Reinhard and Regina Doman. It is a joy to read their stories. What all these courtships share is prayer to meet the right person before marriage and a commitment to live a married life centered on Christ.

That doesn't mean these couples didn't experience hardships along the way. There are times when the woman wanted nothing to do with the man at the beginning, but the man's persistence ultimately paid off. There are couples who had to struggle with being from different faith traditions and long-distance relationships and exploring a religious vocation before committing to marriage. There is one couple that married after both lost their spouses.

This book is an enjoyable read for anyone who likes a good love-story (made all the more enjoyable because they are true life.) I think that it's best purpose would be for teens starting to think about finding that special person. It would offer them hope and encourage them to seek to have a relationship rooted in God. This book gives me hope for my own children, that perhaps they can experience these types of relationships.

- Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

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