I recently had the opportunity to read, Marriage, The Rock on Which the Family is Built by William May. It is a refreshing book that focuses on the foundational aspects of conjugal love as expressed by Pope John-Paul II in his Theology of the Body teachings from the late Pope’s pontificate. What is of great importance for the contemporary Catholic is the inclusion of sections that deal with modern scientific methods of in vitro fertilization and the implications for the Catholic married couple?

Especially important is the development of the author of the topic of marriage as the foundational pillar of the “domestic church,” on which the entire Catholic faith is built. In keeping with all of the traditional teachings on marriage and the family since Pius XII, Dr. May clearly shows how the institution of marriage creates not only a stable institution from which to raise children, but also the embodiment of the call to sanctification and holiness to which all faithful Catholics have as their primary vocation.

The aspects of procreation and development of mutual love between the married couple define marriage as the consummate union between a man and a woman. With the extrapolation of complimentary components that each sex offers towards procreation and love, the issue of same sex relationships and marriages is ruled out in a pastoral, practical and theologically sound argument that dismisses same sex relationships and marriages.

The author very strongly uses the teaching of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II as well as Pope Benedict to illustrate very clearly the complex dignity marriage and the conjugal act brings to husband and wife as the primary foundation for living faith and development of the Church’s next generation of faithful believers. Dr. May shows very well that the Institution of Marriage is indeed an enduring and exclusive institution that is the only true and proper context within which to raise children.

What is most obvious about this book is the truly pastoral tone it uses in instructing Catholics on the sanctity of the marital act and its critically important role for our future world and Church. It is easily read and provides doctrinal and historical points, along with scriptural reference to support the topic. It clearly shows that regardless of popular trends and indications, Marriage is indeed the true foundation for all aspects of ancient and contemporary human societies.

One has to include this book in a collection of readings for modern Catholics…this author predicts the work will be a seminal interpretation of Catholic Church teachings for years to come. The book is available at Ignatius Press website http://ignatiuspress.com

Hugh J.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist writing on Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. He writes frequently at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & http://nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com . He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, Dublin, the British Broadcasting Company, London and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Catholic Exchange, Pewsitter.com, Blogger News Network & The Catholic Business Journal and Wilmington Examiner. Comments are always welcome at hjmn4@gmail.com.

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