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Intimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings Out the Best in Marriage Paperback – October 2, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Teresa Tomeo and Dominick Pastore have written an ingenious, engaging, wonderfully readable set of reflections on married life through the lens of the corporal works of mercy. If you're looking for a practical guide to the vocation of Christian marriage with all its joys and challenges--this is the book." --Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

"Intimate Graces is valuable 'vocational development' for couples at every stage of the marriage life cycle." --Greg and Julie Alexander, The Alexander House

"Dominick and Teresa are offering practical, wise, and faithful lessons about marriage. The down-to-earth style will be a great help to couples who read this book." --Rev. Leo E. Patalinghug, I.V.D., EWTN host and founder of Grace Before Meals

"In Intimate Graces, Teresa and Dominic invite spouses to embrace each other's humanity with all its quirks and shortcomings, to lift it up, and to heal it through the practice of the works of mercy. Rich in practical and spiritual insights, this book encourages spouses to grow in compassion for each other." --John and Teri Bosio, Creators of Six Dates for Catholic Couples

About the Author

Ordained a deacon in the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2012, Dominick Pastore ministers to couples at retreats, pilgrimages, conferences. He serves as a deacon at St. Angela and St. Isaac Jogues churches in suburban Detroit. Pastore has a master's degree in pastoral studies from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He is vice president and senior electrical engineer for SmithGroupJJR in Detroit, where he's been employed since 1980. Pastore is a knight in the Order of Malta, and member of the board of Mary's Mantle, a Catholic home for pregnant and unwed mothers. He and his wife lead pilgrimages to Rome and other parts of Italy for married couples.

Teresa Tomeo is a bestselling author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and speaker with more than thirty years of experience in print and broadcast media. Her weekday radio program, Catholic Connection, a coproduction of Ave Maria Radio and EWTN, is heard daily on 300 stations nationwide and also SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Her TV show, The Catholic View for Women, is seen twice weekly on EWTN.

Tomeo is a columnist and special correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor. She has been featured on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News, Fox and Friends, MSNBC, and the Dr. Laura Show. She was named a Vatican conference speaker and conference delegate and spoke at the 2013 conference the "Rights of the Family and the Challenges of the Contemporary World" sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family. Tomeo participated in the Vatican Women's Congress in 2008. She speaks throughout North America and also leads retreats and pilgrimages annually. Tomeo is a teacher for St. Benedict Press's Catholic Courses. Her books include Extreme Makeover, God's Bucket List, and Walk Softly and Carry and Great Bag. She and her husband, Dominick, Pastore live in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (October 2, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594716420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594716423
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Teresa and her husband Dom emphasize throughout this guidebook how the corporal and spiritual works of mercy can transform a marriage. They discuss how we need to meet people where they are at right now. Not where they were or where we think they should be, but where they are.

Their willingness to be extremely honest and vulnerable makes this couple’s witness compelling. They haven’t had a perfect-looking marriage. They’ve had some really rough times when they thought that the best thing to do might be to separate and eventually divorce. The prospect of working through things together became almost unfathomable.

In fact, two of their good friends, Greg and Julie Alexander, who wrote the foreword, had some similar marital strife. The two of them were also led to a closer walk with the Lord and each other and have since started a ministry to help married couples grow in faith and in their covenant to one another. They talk about their struggles and newfound hope in another book I read, reviewed, and really liked called Marriage 911: How God Saved Our Marriage (and can save yours, too!)

Fortunately, God placed people and arranged circumstances in their lives so that when things fell apart, they could bear the suffering together. Love, faith, and the willingness to accept the need for God’s forgiveness, the need to forgive one another, and themselves opened the door to unprecedented healing.

Dom shares about how a Bible study helped revitalize his faith and change his trajectory in life. Teresa wasn’t there, yet. She still needed to mourn the loss of her career and identity as a high-profile mainstream media broadcast journalist. (Teresa talks about this transition in two of her previous books, which I loved.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I admit I was expecting a run-of-the-mill how-to marriage book. Though I used to be one for self-help books, I found them to very much be the same - "What's best for you?" It was all the postmodern relativism that was never really helpful to begin with. However, "Intimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings Out the Best in Marriage" by Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Dominick Pastore, is anything but postmodern jargon. The Pastores are honest, candid, and gently challenge the readers to dig deeper within themselves and how their weaknesses might be contributing to their marriages.

Made for both husband and wife, the Pastores write in a language that is relevant yet meaningful. They know the Catholic-Christian purpose of marriage and live it, not perfectly (as they state) but openly, honestly. Each chapter focuses on one corporal or spiritual work of mercy, with a reflection by both Teresa and Dominick (appealing to both men and women), followed by a short prayer and some very insightful discussion/reflection questions.

"Intimate Graces" is a perfect book for couples who are seeking to deepen their marriages on a private basis or can be used in a study group at a parish or even at a marriage retreat. What a gem for marriage advice! Instead of advising each person to do "what's best for them," the Pastores gently encourage each spouse to utilize the Sacraments and the grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony in order to grow in holiness. They know and understand well that this is no easy task, but it is possible. Not only that, but it is our spousal duty to help each other get to Heaven, which is an unspoken yet prevalent premise throughout this book.

Not only is this a timely book, but it is also timeless, sure to be a treasure that married couples can return to year after year and in every season of life.
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Format: Paperback
The Jubilee Year of Mercy is right around the corner. Why not take advantage of that year to work on your marriage? In "Intimate Graces" (Ave Maria Press, 2015), Catholic media maven Teresa Tomeo (Pastore) and her husband Deacon Dominick Pastore examine how practicing the works of mercy can bring out the best in marriage.

In the Foreward, Greg and Julie Alexander, founders of The Alexander House, share, “Marriage is like a plant. It is either growing, or it is dying. The only thing that is certain is it does not remain stagnant. If we do something to grow and nurture the relationship, then it will be strengthened; on the contrary, if we do nothing to strengthen or sustain our marriages, they dwindle and sooner or later are holding on for dear life.”
At one point, Tomeo and Pastore’s marriage was holding on for dear life. It was only through the grace of God and a great deal of work on both of their parts that they were able to survive and thrive. They know share their story with others in the hopes of helping other marriages under stress. In Intimate Graces, they explore each of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and how they can apply to marriage.
They explore these works of mercy on a much deeper level than one might expect. For example, under “Feed the Hungry,” one might expect a discussion of shared meal times and the love that can go into preparing a meal. Instead, they talk about feeding your partner’s deepest longings. “Quenching the Parched” means to refresh and renew your love. “Instructing the Ignorant” involves getting to know your spouse on a deep level and being willing to share your own secrets with him or her. Each chapter includes a reflection from both Tomeo and Pastore, a prayer, and questions for reflection.
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