Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Review: Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love

Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love by Dietrich von Hildebrand

This book is slim -- only an introduction by the author's wife and two chapters. Written by a philosopher, it examines the richness of marriage, a richness sometimes forgotten in the ordinariness of married life.
...above all, they must beware of an indolent indifference and of simply floating down the stream of everyday habits. They must recall anew every hour the unspeakably precious gift which God gave in the form of the soul of the beloved. Never must they lose the sense of the wonderful mystery that the other person whom they love loves them too, that the other lives for them, that they own something far above all other earthly possessions.
Beautiful! (Though I can't help wondering how often he did the laundry or changed a diaper.)

Sometimes the language was a little stilted. The lofty ideals of the quote above remained prominent through much of the book. It's much more of a treatise on the idea of marriage and the overall goals than a help in developing and maintaining a relationship. If, however, you have ever questioned the importance or relevance of marriage, this book may be a good place to start.
We must never forget that we do not live in paradise, but that as a consequence of the fall of man, we live in a world which is permeated by a deeply tragic element, where happiness is necessarily wrapped up with tribulation. The redemption of the world by Our Lord has not suspended disharmony and banished suffering, though He gave a new meaning to suffering by making it a means of penance and sacrifice.

The Amazon links above are affiliate links. I borrowed a copy through inter-library loan. This review is my honest opinion.


  1. Interesting. I have a book that his wife wrote that has some beautiful reflections on marriage, especially early-marrieds.

    I am continually amazed at the power and wonder of a sacramental marriage.

    1. I actually liked her introduction as much as I liked the book itself. It's good to think about the sacramental nature of marriage every once in a while to balance that struggle to get the chores done and just plain be nice to each other.


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