Marital Spirituality considerably assists the pastoral agent in reviewing a couple's commitment both initial and later, their ability and desire to share intimate moments, the contemporary development of love, their individual sentimental lives, respective family relationships, gender disparities, sensuality, economic expectations and financial status and their separate expectations from and understanding of marriage. Thus, this marvelous work assists the pastoral agent to help the couples understand the need to keep a strict check on their differences and resolve them as soon they appear without procrastination that only results in augmented intricacies and further differences. Consequently, the deep understanding of these differences helps the pastoral agent in compelling the couples to comprehend the urgent need to incorporate certain much-needed values in the marital partnership of spiritual companioning. These spiritual or moralistic principles pertaining to being honest, humble, gentle, nice, understanding and accepting each other with the entire negative as well as the positive characteristics are common to all of us. What is uncommon is the comprehension of their fundamental role in building a solid and a smooth marital relationship. Helping the couples in transmuting the negative into positive of each other, focusing on the positive aspects and growth of their married life, working out the differences, accepting each other while establishing a greater intimacy with God, this book helps the pastoral agent in playing his role positively and effectively. Thus, the couples (looking forward to a better and a stronger marital and spiritual relationship) are offered a three-step guide to approach, incorporate and practice Lectio Divina in their relationship thereby transforming it from the mundane reality to an experience of profound spirituality. This simple to follow guide also helps the pastoral agents in improving their ability to increase the spirituality essence in the emotionally lacerated couples who are finding hard to keep their marital relationships pleasantly working.
Phase one involves the warming up exercise wherein the couple sits, relaxes and gradually prepares itself to eventually take the plunge into the world of learning spirituality and getting closer to GOD. Phase two includes the simple process of selecting a part of Lectio Divina, going through it word by word, gradually receiving the Word of God, slowly understanding it and steadily absorbing it and finally registering it in their minds. Phase three, the last of all steps, suggests the pastoral agent to compel the couple to find specific answers to the following four questions:
What is text conveying? (Focusing on its words)
What is the underlying message of God, personally approaching the persons involved in spiritual learning?
What is the message that the couple wants to convey to the Almighty being?
What is the expected change that the text under study can bring about?
In conclusion, the book by McDonalds is not only easy to read and practice but it also provides loads of valuable information for the pastoral agents as well as for the couples who are in search for spiritual guidance to make their marital relationship work for good.
McDonald P. & McDonald C. Marital Spirituality: The Search for the Hidden Ground of Love Paulist Press, November…