Claiming Our Deepest Desires: The Power of Intimate Marriages

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Overview

Claiming Our Deepest Desires integrates the spirituality of marriage with the practical experience of marriage. M. Bridget Brennan and Jerome L. Shen, a married couple, invite readers to reflect on God's call to marriage, the nature of the call, and the acceptance.

Readers contemplate true love, intimacy, and how love is expressed and received in their marriage. The book addresses attitudes that are helpful for dealing with obstacles and fears that hinder intimacy. The rhythms, cycles, and stages in a marriage are discussed to provide awareness for a married couple. The wants, needs, and requirements for the relationship are acknowledged. The authors delve into some specific aspects of marriage by considering the process of making decisions as a couple, discussing making life choices, and different perspectives on the use of time and money. One chapter is devoted to love making. Communication and conflict resolution are brought up as well as the call to mission. The book ends by focusing on the hopes, dreams, and Vision that we have for marriage and how that motivates us to live better and more joy-filled lives today.

Claiming Our Deepest Desires is for adults in healthy committed married relationships, who wish to grow in love and intimacy to realize the full promise of marriage. Ideally spouses will read, reflect on, and discuss the book together. It can be used by individuals, small groups, or as a supplemental text to university-level courses.

Chapters are Cal to Marriage," *What Is Love and Intimacy? - *Growing in Love and Intimacy, - *The Dynamics of Relationship, - *Making Decisions on Life Choices, Time, and Money, - *Making Love in a Sexually Charged World, - *Conflict and Communication, - *Mission: Fruit of a Vibrant Marriage, - and *The Fruit of Love Is Joy. - Exercises and reflection questions are provided at the end of each chapter.

M. Bridget Brennan is the director of marriage ministry at St. Francis Xavier Church on the campus of St. Louis University. She serves as a consultant with the St. Louis Archdiocesan Office of Laity and Family Life. She is founder and president of The Cana Institute. She also serves as an adjunct instructor at Aquinas Institute School of Theology and St. Louis Community College.

Jerome L. Shen served as director of fundamental research for DuPont Protein Technology International for several years. Presently he serves as visiting professor of chemistry at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois.

Bridget and Jerry travel throughout the United States presenting retreats and workshops for married couples. In addition, they direct marriage preparation seminars for first-time marriages, second-time marriages, and inter-faith marriages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Brennan and Shen have successfully accomplished their goal of providing readers with a book that will ‘affirm and inspire couples to live their marriage covenant.’ It provides thought provoking exercises and reflections after each chapter that are sure to lead individuals into a deeper understanding of themselves and their spouse. It will function as a meaningful book for couples groups, as well as a couple who may wish to grow deeper in love with God and their spouse.
Catholic Studies

The reader will be awed to see marriage in a Trinitarian context . . . and will smile at practical problems like miscommunication about kitchen cabinets - all in a reflection steeped in the Ignatian spirituality that this couple has lived out for many years.
Rosemary Jermann, co-editor, Theology Digest, and adjunct instructor, Saint Louis University

The authors draw on their own experiences, intimacy, and aspirations as a married couple as well as their work in running workshops and retreats for married couples for their counsel on how to enjoy marriage as a special spiritual state. . . . They talk about the notion of a 'mission' as a part of marriage which helps husband and wife keep a focus and which infuses the different factors of a marriage, including the practicalities, with the sense of what is at stake in them, thus continually motivating the marriage partners to cooperate and seek the best in their marriage.
Midwest Book Review

This is a thoroughly practical book. . . . It will function as a meaningful book for couples groups, as well as a couple who may wish to grow deeper in love with God and their spouse.
Catholic Books Review

In this book Bridget Brennan and Jerome Shen show couples ways to build a closer connection between faith and the daily challenges of marriage. They draw on a number of sources, including their own experience in marriage, and provide helpful reflection questions as well. May this help couples to realize more deeply the holiness that is right before them.
Kathleen Finley

From the depth and breadth of their married experience, Bridget and Jerry accompany and assist those of us who walk, and occasionally stumble, along the same journey. They offer a patient, trustworthy, at times vulnerable companionship. As witnesses, they are the best teachers about what it means to grow spiritually in and through marriage.
H. Richard McCord, Executive Director, USCCB Committee on Marriage and Family Life

Bridget Brennan and Jerome Shen, a long-married couple, acknowledge that writing this book together helped them grow in love, intimacy, and the desire to live what they believe and write. Reading it, and especially working through the reflective exercises it offers will do the same for readers. They will be helped to discover and communicate their own marital stories, and to grow in the love not only of one another but also of the God who calls them to marriage and blesses their faithful marriage as the sacrament of the relationship between Christ and Christ's church. Claiming Our Deepest Desires is applied theology and spirituality at its best.
Michael G. Lawler, Amelia and Emil Graff Chair in Catholic Theological Studies and Director of the Center for Marriage and Family, Creighton University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814630129
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author


Jerome L. Shen served as director of fundamental research for DuPont Protein Technology International for several years. Presently he serves as visiting professor of chemistry at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Call to Marriage 9
2 What Is Love and Intimacy? 27
3 Growing in Love and Intimacy 47
4 The Dynamics of Relationship 61
5 Making Decisions on Life Choices, Time, and Money 77
6 Making Love in a Sexually Charged World 99
7 Conflict and Communication 111
8 Mission: Fruit of a Vibrant Marriage 125
9 The Fruit of Love Is Joy 133
Resources 141
Bibliography 143
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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    Christian marriage guide

    CLAIMING OUR DEEPEST DESIRES - The Power of an Intimate Marriage by M. Bridget Brennan and Jerome L. Shen. Liturgical Press, Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321; 800-858-5450; www.litpress.org; sales@litpress.org. 2004. 146 pp. $12.95 trade paper, ISBN 0-8146-3012-X. bibliography. The authors draw on their own experiences, intimacy, and aspirations as a married couple as well as their work in running workshops and retreats for married couples for their counsel on how to enjoy marriage as a special spiritual state. The epigraph of one of the chapters notes the reality about marriage they bring to their subject--'We are never right for each other all the time./We need to keep growing and making it right.' They discuss marriage in the context of Christianity. Marriage cannot yield its special, fulfilling, rewarding spirituality if a couple does not have faith in God. 'Love, intimacy, and relationship will not be possible if we do not have faith in God.' But even with their religious conception of marriage, Brennan and Shen recognize that agreeable dealing with pracicalities is fundamental to reaching and maintaining the spiritual and emotional satisfactions of marriage. Thus, they talk about finances, sexuality, and putting time into a marriage in a busy society. The authors talk about the notion of a 'mission' as a part of marriage which helps husband and wife keep a focus and which infuses the different factors of a marriage, including the practicalities, with the sense of what is at stake in them, thus continually motivating the marriage partners to cooperate and seek the best in their marriage.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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