SAVE THE DATE ... our Social Media Coordinator, Elise Crawford, is marrying Hunter, her college sweetheart, on August 12, 2017. We're overjoyed for her and are thrilled to share with you a peek into one bride's real-life wedding planning. Over the next year, we'll feature monthly pieces from Elise on marriage prep, choosing wedding details, and her spirituality as a bride-to-be. Join us in praying for Elise and Hunter during this sacred time of anticipation!
(Photos: Meaghan Clare Photography)
Over the last few years, Hunter and I have developed our own library of favorite marriage and engagement-focused resources. I'm excited to share them with you today in anticipation that they bless you and your significant other, as well.
The Temperament God Gave You/ God Gave Your Spouse by Art and Laraine Bennett: These books by a Catholic married couple, one a licensed marriage therapist and one with a Masters in philosophy break down certain tendencies, virtues, and weaknesses particular to the four temperaments of classical philosophy, with a solid spiritual element added in. They were so eye-opening to me! Although Hunter and I both agreed not everyone fits perfectly into the four temperament profile, it's is definitely a great place to start understanding yourself and your significant other in a deeper manner.
The Jeweler's Shop by Karol Wojtyla: Not to be dramatic, but this is, hands down, my favorite piece of literature of all time. I first saw this play performed during my sophomore year in college and have read it at least five times since. I even wrote a paper on it in graduate school! The future JPII's play focuses on three different couples, all at different stages of their relationships. I can't recommend it enough!
Three to Get Married by Fulton Sheen: This was also a very formative book for Hunter and me. Fulton Sheen taught at our alma mater, Catholic University, and was a brilliant priest. He talks about the ins-and-outs of marriage in a down to earth way while still communicating the mystery of the sacrament.
Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis: Hunter and I are currently reading this encyclical with our marriage mentors. After reading just the first chapter, I was completely blown away. The Pope definitely gathers the wisdom of the Church while also discussing the hardships and challenges that couples and families encounter as they live and breathe their vocation.
Theology of the Body Institute: I haven't attended a course at the TOB Institute yet but I've had several friends attend and they have raved about it.
Through the Bible and Catholic tradition, Theology of the Body explains that our bodies reveal the deepest mysteries of God and humanity.
Wherever you are in your faith journey, the Theology of the Body Institute is an awesome way for you and your fiancé to grow in your understanding of God's design for your marriage.
Called to Love by Carl Anderson: I read this book while attending the John Paul II Institute, and it's incredible. If you don't have the means to attend the Theology of the Body Institute, I highly recommend Called to Love as a great alternative. Carl Anderson is the Supreme Knight of Columbus and makes St. Pope John Paul II's teaching on Theology of the Body applicable and accessible.
By Love Refined: Letters to a Young Bride by Alice von Hildebrand: This book has made me feel much less alone during my engagement! The format is an older Alice writing to a new bride, Lily. Lily pours out her heart to Alice about newly married life. Lily's problems, fears and excitement are relatable, Alice's words refreshing and encouraging.
Beloved by the Augustine Institute: Beloved is a 12-week DVD and study guide series for engaged or married couples. This is a great resource for education if you are your fiancé are looking to go a bit further in preparing for marriage or improving your relationship. Although Hunter and I haven't gone through the program personally, it's come highly recommended by several friends. It looks incredible and I'd love us to go through it eventually.
The Little Oratory By Leila Lawler: One of my favorite books that I've read during marriage preparation! Leila is the mother of a college classmate and runs the successful blog Like Mother, Like Daughter. In The Little Oratory, Leila discusses how families can incorporate liturgical living into their everyday lives through prayer and intentional living. There are also beautiful icon images included with the book that make for a beautiful beginning to your own oratory.
I'd love to hear your additions to this list! What are your favorite resources for marriage preparation? Share them in the comments below!