Sexual Morality Books


#1

I am attending the wedding shower of a relative. She is Catholic, but I believe already on the pill and sexually active. I want to give her a book that will give a clear but simple explanation of Church Teaching on Sexual Morality. As far as I know she has never been taught this. She is not the type of person who would read an encyclical. A book at the reading level of newspaper writing is much more likely to get read. I have two books in mind:

  1. A Catholic Handbook for Engaged and Newly Married Couples (by Frederick Marks) which I have seen, and is fairly good.

  2. Life Giving Love (by Kimberly Hahn) I haven’t seen this yet, but I know Kimberly Hahn is so personable on tape and in writing. What I wonder is if this book is geared toward someone who is highly motivated to learn this, or someone who’s never been taught about the Church’s teaching?

Have any of you read either of these? What do you think of Hahn’s book? Are there other easy to read books on the topic that would be good for a beginner?


#2

I have read and would recommend this book
Sex and the Sacred City by Steven Kellmeyer


#3

For a newly engaged or married couple I HIGHLY recommend ‘For Better For Ever’ By Gregory Popcak. It is 100% faithful to church teaching and Dr. Popcak has a way of writing that is very accesible and conveys church teaching without being ‘preachy’. This is a great way to introduce these teachings under the concept of preparing them for a successful marriage…
amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0879736887/ref=pd_sim_books_2/103-3894606-0120613?v=glance&s=books

…and it really is a great book for it’s intended purpose. Building a stonger marriage


#4

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe someone hasn’t mentioned “Good News about Sex and Marriage, answers to your honest questions about Church teaching” by Christopher West.

He’s amazing. He goes thru everything in regards to the vocation of marriage, the marital act and morality within (and outside of) marriage. It’s incredible. I’m actually getting a copy for my future sister in law for her bridal shower next weekend.

Life-giving Love is also incredible, a perfect read for a woman who is either getting married, just married, or married for a long time…it teaches us again about our vocation, and the dignity of our lives, and others.


#5

I’m with Schana on this one. Good News About Sex and Marriage makes morality fun! Seriously, it explains the Church’s teaching so clearly and in such an attractive manner that I am seriously considering buying a pile of them, so that I can give them away. It is a great book for couples to read together (as my fiancée and I did), and I would say that it is good for single people from late adolescence on.

Its real beauty is that it takes sexual morality from being a rule (don’t do this) to being an aspiration (look how beautiful this teaching is).

I’ll stop raving; I could go on forever.


#6

OOh!!

Get the Kim Hahn book!! I give it as a wedding present to EVERYONE whose wedding we attend!! (I bet I have a reputation out there!!) It’s easy to read, and geared toward women…I love it.

Now, from the Mary foundation, I have ordered CD’s of Christopher West’s Marriage and the Eucharist among other things…I give it out too. Usually to people who are curious about what I mean by all this marriage talk!!

But I always start with Kim Hahn’s book, personally!

Good plan, though! She needs the truth on this!!


#7

[quote=SteveG]For a newly engaged or married couple I HIGHLY recommend ‘For Better For Ever’ By Gregory Popcak. It is 100% faithful to church teaching and Dr. Popcak has a way of writing that is very accesible and conveys church teaching without being ‘preachy’. This is a great way to introduce these teachings under the concept of preparing them for a successful marriage…
amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0879736887/ref=pd_sim_books_2/103-3894606-0120613?v=glance&s=books

…and it really is a great book for it’s intended purpose. Building a stonger marriage
[/quote]

That sounds like a great book - Does it has a specific section on marital chastity, and does it specifically explain what the Church teaches on contraception/NFP and why? I can’t “look inside the book” at Amazon like some books allow. My main goal is to make sure she has a clear explanation of the Church Teaching on this, since this may be the only thing ever to sit on her bookshelf that does. Everything else is gravy.

I actually have the Christopher West CD and Book. I’m a bit tentative to give her the book because it seems a bit harder to get into (it may have something to do with the font size and style), and I’m trying to have the highest possible chance of her not just using the book as a footstool. The CD is great! My other concern is what everyone will say when she opens the gift at the shower. I’m not looking forward to giving an explanation for what the book is about and having it sound so goofy (as things often do coming out of my mouth) that I’m an ad against the book! My husband thinks that noone will ask for more details about the book - he says they’ll just roll their eyes at religious me and move on - that would be easier! :rolleyes: Pray for my backbone to strengthen! :gopray2:


#8

Popcak’s book does discuss marital chastity and NFP and he is really funny in the book. I think it would be perfect. I mean you can’t guarantee she’ll read it, but it is easy to get into. Popcak is a married father of four too, so you hear about his marriage and you know he isnt’ just talking, he lives it.

Good luck,
Nicole


#9

[quote=ThyKingdomCome]That sounds like a great book - Does it has a specific section on marital chastity, and does it specifically explain what the Church teaches on contraception/NFP and why? I can’t “look inside the book” at Amazon like some books allow. My main goal is to make sure she has a clear explanation of the Church Teaching on this, since this may be the only thing ever to sit on her bookshelf that does. Everything else is gravy.

[/quote]

Yes, The entire first third of the book is devoted to a Catholic understanding of Marriage and sexuality. He gives a very good defense of Church teaching including the teachings on NFP and contraception. In that first part of the book he is laying the moral foundation for Catholic marriage. The second two thirds of the book are geared towards helping the couple reading it to build the tools to strengthen their marriage based on what they just learned. It has quizes, relationship ratings, and excercises that are really interesting and engaging. The great thing about this is that because of the way he writes it, you get sucked in cause you wanna take the quiz or see where your marriage rates on the scale of success, etc. and in the meantime, he is getting the moral message across as well, and planting lots of seeds about the faith.

If it helps, I have a co-worker who sounds much like the folks you are talking about. ‘Catholic’, but using contraception, and lived together before marriage, etc. I leant them my copy of this book and they really enjoyed it. They read the entire thing, did the quizzes, and it lead to some very fruitful discussions on some of the moral issues involved. Did it ‘convert’ them to follow church teaching? To my knowledge, not as of yet. But they certainly read a great defense of that teaching, the seeds are planted, and from what they told me, this certainly didn’t gather dust on their shelf a any time. Hope this helps to make you feel more comfortable with your choice.

I have all of the tapes, CDs, and books mentioned so far in this thread. I love everyone of them. However, I don’t think any of them are a very good idea for the couple you are describing. Each one assumes (not consciously) you are already a certain amount along the path in accepting Church teaching. I really think most of them are too ‘deep’ and will fall on deaf ears if read at all (not likely). I used to be ‘one of those’ folks and these books would not have appealed to me, and indeed only began appealing to me after I had learned quite a bit more about my faith. It’s exactly why I suggested the Popcak book. It plants the seeds, but in a way that the reader doesn’t feel like someone is trying to convert them (though under the covers he is :D)

Don’t know why I didn’t provide this first, but you can also buy the book from his website…
exceptionalmarriages.com/
…and he even gives you the introduction to the book online so you can read a bit about what you are getting…
exceptionalmarriages.com/book2.htm
…If you still feel unsure, I would be happy to grab my copy tonight and type up the chapter headings in the book to give you a better look at what you would be buying.

By the way, I recommend this book for ANY married couple. While it’s great for the couple you mention below, it would be good for any married couple to go throught it.

God Bless, and be proud that your a Catholic geek who everyone thinks is whacko. Just means your on the right track.:yup:


#10

A couple of recommendations:

First, for the teenage/young adult audience -*** If You Really Loved Me*** by *Catholic Answers * apologist and chastity speaker Jason Evert.

Second, for younger children - ***The Princess and the Kiss * ** by Jennie Bishop. This book is an absolute gem!

Also, another big thumbs up to Christopher West’s Good News About Sex & Marriage - the perfect wedding gift for any newly married or soon to be married couple.

All titles are available from Catholic Answers


#11

[quote=Schana]Oh my gosh, I can’t believe someone hasn’t mentioned “Good News about Sex and Marriage, answers to your honest questions about Church teaching” by Christopher West.

[/quote]

Excellent book. It depends, too, on where the person is in their faith and how heavy you want the book to be. If the person is young, Mary Beth Bonacci is very good and easy to read. Same with Kimberly Hahn. More heavy reading would be Sex and the Marriage Covenant by John Kippley (of CCL). —KCT


#12

Thanks everyone for all the great information and recommendations! Sounds like the Popcak book might “suck her in” the easiest, although I’m tempted to have all the books mentioned to add to my “sexual morality library” :smiley: Yes, I can live with being a religious geek! It is true, I can’t do much more than plant the seeds, but I feel better knowing I’m not standing idly by. And what a relief to have so many people help me shop!


#13

[quote=Schana]Oh my gosh, I can’t believe someone hasn’t mentioned “Good News about Sex and Marriage, answers to your honest questions about Church teaching” by Christopher West.

He’s amazing. He goes thru everything in regards to the vocation of marriage, the marital act and morality within (and outside of) marriage. It’s incredible. I’m actually getting a copy for my future sister in law for her bridal shower next weekend.

Life-giving Love is also incredible, a perfect read for a woman who is either getting married, just married, or married for a long time…it teaches us again about our vocation, and the dignity of our lives, and others.
[/quote]

**Christoper West is awesome!!! It is an excellent book! As well as his other book. Check out the link below: see if he is talking in your area, it is an awesome speaker and recommend your friend hear him… he also has tapes/CDs. they are great too!:wink: **


#14

Package those books up with the Kama Sutra for a bit of variety.


#15

No way, you HAVE to go with Chris West. He makes sexuality sound beautiful, and not like a bunch of rules, which I think is most important for those already sexually active. And it’s fairly short and coherent.

jp2fan


#16

One book is over looked here
The Theology of the Body For Beginners by Christopher West.
www.theologyofthebody.com

Great piece of work by our Pope and Christopher West!

go with God!
Edwin


#17

Along with Christopher West book *Good News About Sex and Marriage, *I have found this book an invaluable resource in understanding and defending Catholic sexual morality, available through Our Sunday Visitor ([/font]):

[/font]Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Summary, Explanation, & Defense
Wm May/R Lawler/J Boyle
A summary, explanation, and defense on all aspects of the Catholic Church’s position on human sexuality.
0-87973-952-5, Paperback, 336 pages, $12.95 plus S&H, ID #:952


#18

Well, six months later, I finally sent off my choices! The wedding was in July, and I was still waiting for “For Better Forever” to come in the mail. When it finally came I looked through it. It looks great, probably more likely to be read by her. The section on openness to life was nice because it was not so focused on RULES, but on encouraging the reader in a positive way to embrace life. On the other hand, it wasn’t as focused on RULES as I’d like (sound a little schizophrenic do I?). If I were not privy to Church teaching I would come up with every excuse or rationalization out there to continue my lifestyle. For me, I’d need a very straightforward black and white specific explanation of RULES about sex, which Christopher West’s book gives. So I decided to send her Popcak’s and West’s books…as a Christmas gift! I probably won’t hear from her about it, since we live very far away, and aren’t particularly close, so I wonder how the gift was received. :hmmm: The note in the card was meant to make the books as enticing and non-threatening as possible. At least I can know I did my part (for now at least).
Thanks for all the advice.
TKC


#19

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