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Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home Paperback – October 14, 2013


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Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home + Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage + 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: Simple Ways for Couples to Grow Closer to God and to Each Other
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (October 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594713723
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594713729
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This new book helps to fill a huge gap in the world of Christian spiritual writing: the home. Tim and Sue Muldoon's lovely work is a warm, practical, inviting, user-friendly, and family-tested manual on ways to find God in the complex world of the family. Too often books on family life are written either by celibates with no lived experience of changing diapers, or by fathers or mothers who give the impression that their family is the exemplar of all that is good. Six Sacred Rules wisely grounds itself in the Gospels, but also reflects the authors' real-life experience in struggling to find God in the messy and often beautiful place where we all begin our spiritual journeys: in the family." --James Martin, S.J., Author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

"Tim and Sue Muldoon have done something wonderful, here: they've managed to impart and apply Ignatian wisdom to the realities of family life, and in the process they've communicated a spiritual perspective that is immensely valuable to the stressful job of parenting. I loved this book and couldn't put it down. Although my children are grown, the insights and tools shared here are as applicable to the parenting of adult children as to young ones, because they are rooted in true wisdom and can only strengthen the family dynamic. I just wish these rules had been in my hands twenty years ago!" --Elizabeth Scalia, Author of Strange Gods

"Tim and Sue Muldoon have created something rare indeed: a quick and enjoyable read worth ten times its weight in gold. You will want to enjoy it over and over, highlighting and underlining as you go. This delightful resource is overflowing with practical wisdom for every parent who longs to give their children the treasures of a living faith in Jesus Christ. Endearing and entertaining personal stories from the Muldoons' marriage and family life illuminate simple, but powerful spiritual lessons--lessons accessible enough to embolden even the most timid among us to draw nearer to Jesus Christ, and to bring our children into vibrant relationship with Him." --Lisa Mladinich, Author of Be an Amazing Catechist

"Tim and Sue Muldoon have beautifully captured practical ways of being a life-giving domestic church. With real-life examples and illustrations they drive home the vital message of keeping Christ at the center of family life. I highly recommend this book to parents and grandparents as well as pastors and educators."
--Bonnie Mack, Marriage and Family Minister, Archdiocese of Cincinnati

"Deeply schooled in scripture and classic--especially Ignatian--spirituality, Tim and Sue Muldoon offer their readers inspirational and practical stories about their own search for the sacred ground beneath the often shifting landscape of family life. Six Sacred Rules for Families is a thoughtful and welcome reflection on what it means for both parents and their children to embark on the ultimate adventure of finding God in all things." --Wendy M. Wright, Professor of Theology Creighton University

"Young parents will find in this gem of a book an invitation to see God's presence in the struggles and joys of creating and sustaining a family. Tim and Sue Muldoon reflect on their experiences of cultivating spiritual practices in their home and offer concrete advice for keeping love at the center of family life. A great resource both for those who struggle with faith and for strong believers who want to live their faith more deeply." --Julie Hanlon Rubio, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, St. Louis University

Review

“This new book helps to fill a huge gap in the world of Christian spiritual writing: the home.  Tim and Sue Muldoon’s lovely work is a warm, practical, inviting, user-friendly, and family-tested manual on ways to find God in the complex world of the family.  Too often books on family life are written either by celibates with no lived experience of changing diapers, or by fathers or mothers who give the impression that their family is the exemplar of all that is good. Six Sacred Rules wisely grounds itself in the Gospels, but also reflects the authors' real-life experience in struggling to find God in the messy and often beautiful place where we all begin our spiritual journeys: in the family.”
James Martin, S.J.
Author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

“Tim and Sue Muldoon have done something wonderful, here: they’ve managed to impart and apply Ignatian wisdom to the realities of family life, and in the process they’ve communicated a spiritual perspective that is immensely valuable to the stressful job of parenting. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. Although my children are grown, the insights and tools shared here are as applicable to the parenting of adult children as to young ones, because they are rooted in true wisdom and can only strengthen the family dynamic. I just wish these rules had been in my hands twenty years ago!”
Elizabeth Scalia
Author of Strange Gods

“Tim and Sue Muldoon have created something rare indeed: a quick and enjoyable read worth ten times its weight in gold. You will want to enjoy it over and over, highlighting and underlining as you go. This delightful resource is overflowing with practical wisdom for every parent who longs to give their children the treasures of a living faith in Jesus Christ. Endearing and entertaining personal stories from the Muldoons’ marriage and family life illuminate simple but powerful spiritual lessons—lessons accessible enough to embolden even the most timid among us to draw nearer to Jesus Christ, and to bring our children into vibrant relationship with Him.”
Lisa Mladinich
Author of Be an Amazing Catechist

“Tim and Sue Muldoon have beautifully captured practical ways of being a life-giving domestic church. With real-life examples and illustrations they drive home the vital message of keeping Christ at the center of family life. I highly recommend this book to parents and grandparents as well as pastors and educators.”
Bonnie Mack
Marriage and Family Minister
Archdiocese of Cincinnati

“Deeply schooled in scripture and classic—especially Ignatian—spirituality, Tim and Sue Muldoon offer their readers inspirational and practical stories about their own search for the sacred ground beneath the often shifting landscape of family life. Six Sacred Rules for Families is a thoughtful and welcome reflection on what it means for both parents and their children to embark on the ultimate adventure of finding God in all things.”
Wendy M. Wright
Professor of Theology
Creighton University

“Young parents will find in this gem of a book an invitation to see God’s presence in the struggles and joys of creating and sustaining a family. Tim and Sue Muldoon reflect on their experiences of cultivating spiritual practices in their home and offer concrete advice for keeping love at the center of family life. A great resource both for those who struggle with faith and for strong believers who want to live their faith more deeply.”
Julie Hanlon Rubio
Associate Professor of Christian Ethics
St. Louis University


More About the Author

I'm a married lay Catholic theologian with two beautiful daughters and a son, all from China. I teach in the Capstone program at Boston College, where I also serve in the Office of University Mission and Ministry, editing a journal advancing the mission of Catholic higher education.

My Ph.D. (Duquesne University, 1998) is in Catholic Systematic Theology, and my dissertation focused on the symbolization of sex in Catholic marriage. I taught for eight years at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania, four of those as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Theology. My first role at Boston College was as Director of the Church in the 21st Century Center, before moving into my current role.

My interest is in drawing deeply from the tradition of Christian spirituality to invite people into greater awareness of God, greater love for the Church, greater service to the world. My scholarship draws from the Western literary tradition, Ignatian spirituality, and contemporary Christian theology. More recently, I have been interested in Chinese Catholicism and its lessons for Westerners. My teaching is about the "great conversation" across the centuries in the West, but with an eye to how to broaden that conversation with new partners from the East.

I believe in prayer, not only because of its obvious benefits (greater peace, self awareness, physical health) but also because in stillness we become attuned to God's voice. I have been moved by the saints of the Christian tradition (and even other traditions), and seek to grow in love through prayer. I mean this in a very pedestrian way: I just want to be a better husband and father, and maybe even a better citizen. I am persuaded that the examples of the saints help me to be a little more like Jesus.

Customer Reviews

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If we want our children to love God and the Church and not fall away, then we must be vigilant!
Stuart Dunn
This is the kind of book I'll be dipping back into, reminding myself of my priorities and the helps I have, encouraging myself on this parenting journey.
Sarah Reinhard
The last part of the book offers four examples of lectio divina that can be used with a family and the lesson that those stories contain for family life.
Patrice Fagnant-macarthur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Reinhard VINE VOICE on October 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
You know what I find myself struggling to read? Self-help books. Especially of the parenting kind.

I suspect it has more to do with my pride than it does with me having any clue about what I'm doing. And I haven't read many of them (aside from Dr. Ray, who I follow like he's a rockstar), because, well, there are so many OTHER books to read.

So when Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home arrived, I braced myself. "Nice cover," thought I, "and I'll reward myself by whipping through that book I AM going to finish by the end of the month."

You see, despite the fact that Elizabeth Scalia (who does not give faint praise, EVER), is quoted on the cover as saying, "I loved this book and couldn't put it down.", I wasn't expecting a good read.

Parenting self-help type book = fight off the snoring tendencies.

Boy, was I wrong.

(When will I learn? Not today, apparently.)

I was on page ix when I realized I was going to love this book:

"Now, full disclosure: our family doesn't perfectly reflect these rules every day--we doubt that anyone's family does or even can. We are not perfectly pious people, living blissfully conflict-free lives according to a preordained divine plan. Any parent understands that raising children is about living within the tension of knowing what is good for them (and ourselves) while at the same time negotiating the basic reality of what is happening right now."

[...]

"Still, the rules (whether for nutrition, good psychological health, or--in this case--a strong faith life) help give us a compass point, both when the skies are clear and when there are storms."

The rules, when I saw them on the next page, seemed...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WIlliam on December 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book and I keep going back to it so the wisdom in it will sink into my psyche. It empowers the reader to being spirituality into their home and family. Beautiful yet practical exposition on what it takes to simultaneously be a spritual seeker and guide within the family context. It is Catholic-Christian based but I really think that anyone who wants to bring the sacred into thier family experience can benefit. Ground is broken here that I have not encountered anywhere else in religious or secular family functioning books. The wise words in this book are certainly the fruit of the authentic faith of this couple.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Dunn TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Six Sacred Rules for Families is a practical manual for the Catholic family on how to integrate faith into every aspect of life. Starting with "Section One: A New Vision for Family Life," Tim and Sue Muldoon invite you to change the way you look at your family life, and decide what ultimately and what eternally matters. By doing this, you will see family life as a vocation. This shouldn't be a novel concept, because we see priesthood and marriage as vocations. However, parenthood is an equally important vocation!

Part Two is the meat of the book and the basis of the title - the six rules. I won't give you all the rules listed. (You'll have to buy the book for that!) Instead, I will address the one which spoke most loudly to me - "The Third Rule: Our Family Doesn't Care About Success!" Life is more than lots of money, big houses, and fancy cars. As the Muldoons say in this chapter, "The third rule invites us to question what we think is good, to ask whether our vision of what's good is ultimately in service to an expansive and generous love. If it is not, then it is also an invitation to let go of that vision, so a newer one might grow in its place." Part Three wraps up the book nicely by providing real world advice on how to follow all the rules.

As someone with a new family, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a realistic and straightforward approach on how to build a domestic church. If we want our children to love God and the Church and not fall away, then we must be vigilant! We must not compartmentalize our faith to just Sundays. We must let our Catholic faith permeate every part of your life. A large fire ignites from a single spark. Are you willing to be that spark that sets ablaze the love of God in your family? In the world?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrice Fagnant-macarthur VINE VOICE on January 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
Why should your family have sacred rules and what should they be? Those are the questions Tim and Sue Muldoon set out to answer in “Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home.” As the Muldoons state, “Rules keep everyone on the same page; rules help us plan for the future and enjoy the present . . . [They] help one another grow in love.”

The six rules they have established for use in their own family of three adopted children, and which they share on these pages, are based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “The Spiritual Exercises.” Those rules are: 1) God brings our family together on pilgrimage, 2) Our love for one another leads to joy, 3) Our family doesn’t care about ‘success,’ 4) God stretches our family toward his kingdom, 5) God will help us, and 6) We must learn which desires lead us to freedom.

The Muldoons begin by emphasizing the role of faith and prayer in one’s life. Parents cannot hope to pass on faith to their children of they don’t cultivate it first in themselves. “For followers of Jesus, it’s about faith that God is in charge, that our lives have meaning, that love is a window to eternity.” This does not meant that we will be spared suffering, but rather that we will be able to see both joy and pain as “moments in a much longer story.”

The Muldoons then examine each of the six rules, offering concrete examples of how these rules are put into practice in their own family life.

The last part of the book offers four examples of lectio divina that can be used with a family and the lesson that those stories contain for family life. The biblical stories that are examined are those of Zaccheus, The Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan, and The Wedding at Cana.
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