American Catholics have grown accustomed, over the last 30 or 40 years, to the wonderful and moving stories of those who have converted to the Catholic faith, particularly from various Protestant denominations. Some of these stories have become quite well known, such as that of Scott and Kimberly Hahn, or Cardinal Avery Dulles; a Catholic reader might be tempted to think he knows all the twists of the classic conversion story by heart, and that no “swimming the Tiber” narrative could surprise and engage him at this point.
A recent book published by EWTN takes a new approach to the conversion story, and a new approach to apologetics. The book is The Catholic Church Saved My Marriage: Discovering Hidden Grace in the Sacrament of Matrimony (EWTN Publishing, 2018). In this book, the author, Dr. David Anders, tells how he and his wife hit the lowest point in their marriage, and how through a discovery of the Catholic faith they were able to save their relationship.
Dr. Anders recently spoke with Catholic World Report about this book, the struggles of living in a healthy marriage, and his conversion to the Catholic faith.
Catholic World Report: How did the book come to be?
Dr. David Anders: I had been wanting for some time to write a book that would put some of the things that I do in my public presentations and my radio show in print, so that people would have another medium to access it. I was kind of casting around for the proper format in which to place that. Two things that I ruled out early on as possibilities: first, I did not want to write a straightforward book on apologetics, a sort of Q&A on how to answer common objections to the Catholic faith; that struck me as kind of “been there, done that.” For the same reason, I didn’t want to write a straightforward conversion narrative either, because that genre has been kind of beaten to death.
In conversation with my wife, she turned to me and said, “You should tell the story of how the Catholic faith saved our marriage.” As soon as she said it, I realized that was the ideal vehicle. I think it’s important to emphasize that when I set out to write the book, I did not intend to write a book on the Catholic doctrine of marriage, or marriage therapy, or how to have a good Catholic marriage, or anything like that. There’s a lot of those books, too. I really wanted to write a book that would be about Catholic history, apologetics, philosophy, but to show that these rather abstract (sometimes) theological or philosophical doctrines could make a substantive difference in a human life. And the sphere of life where we experience most of our trials and tribulations is our daily life. These are not just academic fetishes; these are questions of real moment, and have the capacity to radically transform the most intimate spheres of our activity.
Read more at Catholic World Report
Interested in the book? Find it here!