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Book Reviews by Dr Pravin Thevathasan

Explaining Catholic teaching on marriage, separation & divorce

by Jane Deegan

This is a really well written work which explains why divorce is wrong and it does so with compassion. It begins with the Book of Genesis with a reminder that the vocation of the first man was marriage. Marital love comes from God and reflects His love. Even following original sin, we are still capable of experiencing this love.

Through redemption, Christ has reversed the effects of original sin. As a sacrament, marriage now symbolizes Christ's bond with His bride the Church, and His love is forever. The married couple can no longer be spiritually separated. They remain married until death parts them. To say that divorce should still be permitted is tantamount to saying that Christ has not risen.

The author examines the dangers of individualism and hedonism and their effects on marriage. In contrast, it is noted that true freedom subordinates itself to love. The section on the effects of artificial contraception on love and communion is brilliant.

An introduction to the Catholic Faith
by David Albert Jones

This is a really excellent introduction to the Catholic Faith and it is entirely fitting to have a new edition in the Year of Faith. It begins with the Mystery of God and the distinction to be made between necessary and contingent being. There is then a clear presentation of the Trinity and this is followed by an examination of the Church, the Scriptures, the Sacraments, Mary, the Saints and Angels.

The section on the spiritual life includes Faith, Prayer and Charity.The final sections are on Eternal Life and Catholicism.
The author aims at giving a general introduction to the Catholic Faith. He has done so admirably.

Reasons To Believe
by Adrian Lickorish

This is a fine point by point summary of twelve reasons to believe in the existence of God. Arguments are based on some of the following: who created the Big Bang, reasons from design, our innate human desire for God, finding an ultimate purpose in life, objective morality, belief in God throughout history, religious experience and revelation.

It is really the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas for our time. The author then examines some of the problems we face believing in God, including the existence of evil, the teaching of the Church on hell, difficulty in knowing God and the role of science.The now popular notion that science and religion are in conflict is put to rest.

The author demonstrates that belief in God is reasonable. A fine work of apologetic.

Being a Parent Today
Children, Faith and Family Life
Edited by Fr Stephen Wang

It was Socrates who said that virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them. Here we have the experiences of fathers and mothers and the difficultities they encounter as they live out their family life. Practical suggestions are made on a variety of topics including prayer, meals, chastity, television, Sunday Mass, relationships, discipline and forgiveness. While some points are more helpful than others, it was difficult to significantly disagree with any.
There is ample material provided on each topic for our reflection.

Copyright ©;
Dr Pravin Thevathasan 2012

Version: 1st October 2012

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