As the leaves begin to fall and the weather starts to cool, it signals time for the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference planning team to kick into high gear. As a board of directors member, I spend some time each fall really diving into our speakers’ materials to prepare myself for the upcoming Conference. This year, with the new blog, I’d like to share some speakers’ books information so you can know them a little bit better before the big day, February 23, 2013.
Today I’m very excited to write about a new book, Spicing Up Married Life, Satisfying Couples’ Hunger for True Love by our keynote speaker, Fr. Leo Patalinghug. Fr. Leo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, author of Grace Before Meals: Recipes & Inspirations for Family Meals & Family Life, and host of EWTN’s cooking show, “Savoring Our Faith.” The talented Patalinghug is also a radio personality and winner of the steak fajita Throwdown! With Bobby Flay on Food Network. When I discovered Fr. Leo was writing a book on marriage, I ordered it immediately. It was advertised as a book containing faith filled lessons on marriage, discussion questions, prayers for couples and delicious recipes for at home date nights. What I received is an absolute gem, a must-read for every engaged couple and married couple, newlyweds and up.
I haven’t tried the recipes yet, but I have read through the book and journaled the discussion questions. In Spicing Up Married Life, Fr. Leo shares his many years of experience of marriage preparation and couple and parent counseling. Each of the 12 chapters provides solid advice and Church teaching on real love, sexuality, forgiveness, raising children, finances, caring for a sick or dying spouse. I am both inspired and empowered by his beautiful writing which focuses our marriages on our faith in God. Fr. Leo writes:
“If spouses depend only on one another to keep their marriage strong, they’ll quickly discover that excluding God’s love invites a struggle against powerful forces that can undermine their earthly commitment. Dependence upon God, however, strengthens the couples, aiding them in fulfilling their marriage vows. His wisdom teaches husbands and wives how to defend themselves against the spiritual attacks and challenge their resolve, and he imparts the theological virtue of hope that reminds spouses that their goal is to help one another get to Heaven, the wedding feast of all eternity!” (Patalinghug, 2012, pg ii)
Couples don’t hear this message in today’s world. When discussing marriage with friends and family, I am saddened because many have no idea that the entire goal of marriage is to get their spouse to heaven! The importance and preparation of this sacrament is often focused on the wedding day itself, leaving spouses feeling confused and disillusioned when difficult times arise. Those who are married know that a marriage is not one big honeymoon. There is suffering and challenges in every marriage. Fr. Leo offers great insight to strengthen your marriage by teaching its true meaning, encouraging better spousal communication, teaching family prayer, and most importantly, urging time together over a delicious meal.
Save yourself the wait in line at the conference (and the chance of Fr. Leo’s books selling out) and order your copy today at www.gracebeforemeals.com The ordering information will pop up in front of the main page and includes a 10% off coupon code! Fr. Leo will even sign and dedicate your book if you contact Grace Before Meals at firstname.lastname@example.org!