McCarty has put together an excellent tool for Christian couples—truly a pearl of wisdom and inspiration for those couples willing to pause together in prayer with open hearts so that they may discover a deeper meaning and love in their commitment to one another. Through The Pearl of Great Price, the author bids couples to abandon their fears of discussing and sharing their deepest thoughts, hopes, fears, and failures and instead to embrace the intimacy of prayer united together as one. By providing Scripture verses, reflections, simple discussion questions, and a closing prayer for each segment . . . Mrs. McCarty supplies the tools necessary to get couples engaged in active and productive discussion with the goal of enriching their marriage or engagement.
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Author of Catholic Saints Prayer Book
There is a lot of self-help literature available for married couples and Doctor Phil is all over the TV screen with handy advice. This small booklet offers some practical nourishment of a very different kind. The author gently suggests that couples might also find strength and inspiration by taking the chance to reflect and pray together, however briefly. This little book provides a down-to-earth guide on how to do that.
The Bible Today
. . . a treasure of Gospel readings, reflections, meditations and closing prayers. . . . The Pearl of Great Price seems perfect not only for married couples, but also for those preparing for marriage, those in Marriage Encounters and even those in counseling.
Using The Pearl of Great Price is proving very beneficial. I have struggled for years to incorporate a sense of the role of spirituality in a Christian marriage. This text is going a long way and can be interspersed throughout the course. I have many post-its marking the pages that are relevant to the readings of the day. I also try to transpose the questions into ones relevant for single readers. The students bring the text to class—it is a convenient size—and read to each other in turn.
Marguerite L. Spencer, Professor of Theology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota
Even better than a greeting card for a wedding!
Mary Murphy, Director of Liturgy and Music, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Pennsylvania
There are many things that make this book distinctive and exceptional. Its ability to draw together the presence of God in Scripture and the presence of God in the sacred calling of marriage. Its practical and straightforward presentation of the ancient tradition of lectio divina as a prayer practice available to all—but especially accessible to the lay couple. Its impressive and helpful presentation of sources and experts on many topics and in both the area of Scripture and that of sacramental marriage.
I especially liked the moments close to the marrow, when the author brought the subject to life by contemplating a moment in her own spiritual and artistic journey, as she did in This is My Body, Healing and Infertility for example. McCarty strikes deep, writing with grace, humor, honesty, and inviting the reader to contemplate with emotional courage the inner and outer daily aspects of married life. This is a beautiful book, wise and honest. In McCarty’s own words, it is for all
It is so easy in today’s culture to forget that marriage is a vocation. In The Pearl of Great Price, Julie McCarty clearly turns our focus back to this reality, calling us to ‘look at the gospels with married eyes’ to see how Christ is currently at work in our marriages to bring about His loving purposes. Jesus’ first public miracle was at a wedding feast and the Blessed Mother instructed the servants: ‘Do whatever He tells you.’ Throughout The Pearl of Great Price, Julie McCarty provides insightful and at times piercing reflections on marital implications oozing from the gospels, and she repeatedly reminds us to ‘do whatever He tells you.’ This book is a must read for those married couples seeking fresh insights into their vocation.
John R. Buri, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota
Do you desire to grow in your intimate life with your spouse? Through the ancient practice of sacred reading (Lectio Divina), McCarty leads couples into daily times of meditation and prayer in the Gospels. What joy to rediscover the marriage union as a priceless treasure from God! After twenty-five years of marriage and over twenty years in full-time pastoral ministry, I often look for books to offer couples who want to grow deeper in the Lord together. For Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox couples alike, The Pearl of Great Price is such a treasury of wisdom for couples who seek greater spiritual intimacy and joy as husband and wife.
David Robinson, Author of The Family Cloister: Benedictine Wisdom for the Home and The Christian Family Toolbox: 52 Benedictine Activities for the Home