I’m on spring vacation, but here is a book review for you . . .
Mending the Heart: A Catholic Annulment Companion by Lisa Duffy
This is a valuable book for anyone who is divorced and considering an annulment—especially those who fear or question the process.
Because the author has endured the horrible, heartbreaking experience of an unexpected divorce, she can identify with other divorced people. In addition, she has spent almost twenty years helping people recover from divorce and move on. As a result, she has put together a practical and thorough explanation of the annulment process, including Pope Francis’s recent changes. More than that, in a gentle, compassionate way, she offers advice for recovering from the pain of divorce.
Duffy clearly explains the Catholic view of marriage and divorce, in particular, what constitutes a valid marriage. When a marriage has been judged invalid, the two parties are free to remarry without being deprived of the sacraments. The author also dispels misunderstandings about the annulment process, such as the error of thinking that an annulment makes children illegitimate.
The chapters are built on verses from Eccesiastes 3:1–8 (“There is a season and a time for every matter under heaven,” and so forth). Examples drawn from people’s experiences demonstrate and clarify the author’s messages. Each chapter concludes with a list of its main points followed by questions that guide the divorced reader to analyze his or her own situation.
One significant suggestion Duffy offers is to take time going through the process of recovery. A warning she gives and explains is not to form a new relationship while the annulment process is ongoing.
After reading and studying this book, divorced people can come to view an annulment as a blessing that helps them understand themselves better and boosts them into the next phase of their life’s journey. I strongly recommend this book not only for divorced people, for those who would like to know where the Church stands on marriage and divorce.
The 112-page book is published by Our Sunday Visitor and sells for $13.95.
Do you know a divorced Catholic who might benefit from reading this book?