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 "Call 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.