On Barb’s Bookshelf: The Four Keys to Everlasting Love

The husband-and-wife writing team, Dr. Manuel and Karee Santos,  write a monthly Marriage Rx column at CatholicMom.com and now they’ve put together a book on how to maintain a healthy sacramental marriage in a society that doesn’t support such a relationship: The Four Keys to Everlasting Love.

four keys to everlasting love

Published by Ave Maria Press, this comprehensive book is an excellent resource for marriage prep, but it’s not just for engaged couples or even newlyweds. Married couples in all stages of life can benefit from the sage advice they’ll find here. While couples whose relationships are on rocky ground will find help and hope in this book, it also contains plenty of encouragement for the growth and maintenance of healthy married relationships.

This book is divided into four sections, or “keys,” each with three chapters that include a real-life story (sometimes from the Santoses’ own marriage; sometimes from the experiences of other couples), advice based on the situations described, and conversation starters, action plans and a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church for meditation and support.

The four keys are:

  • Faithful and Forgiving
  • Free
  • Fruitful
  • Love Totally and Forever

You can use this book as a couple or even as part of a couples’ discussion group, and there’s a generous list of additional resources at the end of the book. The Four Keys to Everlasting Love is a perfect gift for anyone planning a wedding or for newlyweds–and would make an excellent anniversary gift for yourself and your spouse as well.

The fine print: I received an electronic version of this book via Netgalley from the publisher for the purpose of my review. Opinions expressed are mine alone. I received no compensation for publishing this review.

#WorthRevisit: Anniversary Special

Hubs and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary today! In honor of the occasion, I have an Anniversary Special: snips from a couple of anniversary-related posts and a bonus recipe.


Funniest moment of our wedding day: (from 2007)

We hadn’t arranged for limos since the church and reception were fairly close. So the guys in the wedding party took the girls in their cars. We never arranged for rides for OURSELVES! After the photo-ops were over, we were almost the only ones left in the church, and we had no way to get to the reception. So we hitched a ride with the neighbor who was responsible for getting us together.

How we met: (from 2007)

Blind date!! My father worked with Hubs’ neighbor. In fact, they’d worked together so long that she knew me first. When Hubs had broken up with his long-term girlfriend, she played Yenta the Matchmaker.

TheKid’s Scathingly Brilliant Idea: (from 2013)

TheKid is a soccer fan. This morning he announced, “Mom, the World Cup is going to be in Brazil next year! Can I go?”


I thought his request was funny, so I was telling Daughter about it. She replied, “I’d love to go! I’d bring my friend. She speaks Portuguese. And I’ll learn how to ask where the bathroom is. I’m pretty sure it’s almost just like Spanish.”

“Right. The last thing I’m going to do is send the two of you and one other teenager to Brazil.”

TheKid, for whom Hope Springs Eternal, had a plan. “Wait! Aren’t you and Dad going to celebrate your 25th anniversary soon?”

christ-the-redeemer-statue-brazil“No. It’ll be 23 in January.”

“Oh. Well, I have an idea! You and Dad can go to Brazil on your honeymoon!”

“And I’m guessing that you and Daughter would be the chaperones?”

“Well, no. We would go to the soccer game, and you and Dad can go visit that big Jesus on the mountain. I thought of everything! It’s a great plan! What could possibly go wrong?”

Recipe for the Very First Meal I Served My Husband

(because when I love people, I cook for them)

This four-ingredient dish is easy to put together. It’s a great recipe to use when the kids want to help in the kitchen, because they can do all the prep work! Note that low-fat cream of chicken soup does not work well in this recipe.

Swiss chicken melt (1)Chicken Swiss Melt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each)
1/4 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs for topping

Spread a little soup on the bottom of your casserole dish. A small offset spatula, like ones used for decorating cakes, is perfect for this.

Place chicken on top of soup. Cover with Swiss cheese slices (if cheese slices are thin, double up!) Spread the rest of the soup over the chicken and cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle bread crumbs over chicken and bake 5 minutes more. Serve over rice, and don’t skimp on the sauce!

Note:  Havarti cheese can be substituted for Swiss.

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!