Talking to teenagers about marriage

Marriage matters

How do you help teenage Catholics maintain their faith in a world of false turns and distractions? Francis Phillips has found a new survival guide full of compelling arguments.

- The Catholic Herald

Redemptorist Publications has produced a very worthwhile introduction to the Church for teenage Catholics. Written by an enterprising layman, John Chater, it is called The Survival Guide for Young Catholics.

Fr Marcus Holden, a priest in Southwark archdiocese, writes that the book “makes a big step towards showing how a Catholic can live well in this brave new world, with both mind and heart intact.”

How has John Chater achieved this? By sticking to his aim, which is to help young people deal with some of the many arguments against their faith that they are bound to encounter – if they haven’t already. He adds: “You can also use it to ‘pressure test’ Catholicism, to see if it stands up to criticism. This will help you to decide whether or not your faith is reasonable, logical and worthy of your lifelong devotion.”

Chapters include a discussion of morality and justice, science and faith, prayer and “The Church: a force for good or evil?”.

On the Sacrament of Marriage, Chater asks if marriage is still relevant, given that many couples opt to cohabit instead. He explains: “What makes a marriage Christian is … a personal relationship of life-giving love in which two people make the love of Christ present to each other and one in which the partners become a sign of love of Christ to those around them.”

He adds that marriage is the best environment in which to bring up children and also “for the husband and wife to grow together, and for their love to deepen as the years pass.”

There is much more to be said on the subject, but for teenagers it is a start – especially as while I was reading this book the radio happened to be on (a bad habit) and I heard a couple agreeing that the statement “I promise to stay with you as long as I can” was the best they could manage.

- Francis Phillips

FULL STORY How to persuade teenagers that marriage matters

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